dan raphael

The Color, Not the Shirt
			(sparked by Joel Chace’s fata morgana)

“the upshot being that it arrived before getting there”

as I can’t simultaneously read two unrelated text streams
as each track can itself be cut, leap and pasted
i unconsciously want the two flows to interact
assume a direction and feel a change
as reactors    actors    a traction     fractions of friction

as seldom two train tracks going the same direction
how many mirrors and lenses between
how many modifications of sound, reassigning frequencies
and wavelength, bring back what assumed gone
as if hovering or pocketed, packeted
pocked or parked, when the scar precedes the wound
a hound in a car, arcing sounds, audible rainbow

“summon the unusual testifiers”

when success brings rain brings revelation and more questions
as every seed is a statement but seldom an answer
undress under duress assured

is silence just white noise we can’t hear
science of silence, absence of sense
here in omen nation, no more, less less
fewer fevers, the slow raves and roves of rivers
to ravish or varnish, a squished van
the zucchini refused to stop, absorbing red lights, parked cars
paved in leaves vapor approves

reconnoitering renaissances, runny sauce, flying architecture
transform without falling, as wind clears the way for time
as certain mouths don’t say certain letters
metaphorical shovels and pry bars
a place to leave questions
the semicolon of yearning
pound with my bouncing 
nervous vocalizings not from here

“this display convinced me that they were 
 something quite different from clouds”

in the bark of the moon, unsung unstrung light
mammalian internal conflict, fishticuffs
insert insects, imply wood
brought to bears and left to flourish
when heat’s gone far enough

cities waiting for a word from the sun
the traffic status of stars in their own mirrors
wolfish flow, howl we do things here
rising on underdeveloped legs, structurally silent

“is design luck’s residue?”

when payments evaporate and must replenish
scheming as we sleep, twenty eight diagrams
once in a while, lacking a whole whale
or a piece to be grown from
claiming this clone is immaculate
wrapping lips between reeds
when the water’s removed but the flavor remains
a red branch, a blue cul-de-sac
scalded dialects, patent patois 

off the map while in the neighborhood
when I spun open, the scroll inside my spine
the scroll inside my spine spun open
mist translated to moisture
topical autopilot swallowing the straightaway
aware how tight the tolerance
speed left behind, momentum in a thousand drops

I could go on, come onto, leave without
arriving, raving, wearing out the fresh
mistaking reluctance for luck
assuming the mouse is my muse
too punctual to emulate, parents I could never find, 
local aesthetics, foreign substances, alien allies
truth in a hostile environment, a place I’d never thought of
and never left, the remains of all the chains and changers

“she frequently observed that
 a cleaver could cleave a carp
 but then could not cleave it,”
this language only comes out below zero, the nothing
inside everything is outside knocking, a week without sunlight
24 hours when no one could sleep
words dissolved in sweat, solved by eating weather
came to the fork in my hand, the path from my pituitary
the mirror removed my hat, the low branch
autographed my scalp, as if I could refuse to stoop
a real duck-up, a furry banana, one more lost apostle
they is coming round the mounting turbulence of transdermal 
adaptiaton—skin like my kin, a face like surf, 
where leg ends kneel

the more aromatic moon unable to sate the wind
more on than off, off ice and in heat, a plethora of ethers
carumbling around the hill side, we all slide
on this spinning topography, dust of the past
another’s future, whether frustrating, abstracting.
learning aerially, pressure without touch, inflammatory story
concludes as unlit litmuses summarize the fluxing altitude
aswirl asymptomatic abundance, with which feet
when the hands need new attachments, dry washers,
lubricat sliding beneath doors, in possession but not possessed,
won or owned, denounced and reverberating
I can’t wait until there’s a word for it

dan raphael's most recent books are Maps    Menus    Emanations from cyberwit, and Moving with Every from Flowstone Press. More recent poems appear in Unlikely Stories, SurVision, In Parentheses and Former People. Most Wednesdays dan writes and records a current events poem for The KBOO Evening News.
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