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After Reading Benjamin’s On Some Motifs in Baudelaire

I would have thrown newspapers in nothing but my boxers
at sparkfall. Instead, I go mourning

all day and flitting about the hollow space inside.

In the marketplace chickens hang in a butcher’s window.
Little is up in arms.

The salted veins are removed for inspection and prayer.
This too is a form of protest.

No one crawls toward the hovel. No one draws back
the shroud. It’s one foot. Then the other.

All I can do is find the clearing—not even threads of the
threadbare story.

Even here the light is obscure.


Still light is the subject and object. ‘And this must be

For you, I would have stomped grapes on my march to
Rome or watched

I Love Lucy in dubbed Italian. This is silly and growing slim
or slack—an American condition.

My first bicycle was a royal blue Schwinn.

It made me feel like a Wright brother.

I have a brother. This is far afield from where we began.


The part I love best is the part I don’t know at all.

I am troubled by pronouns. They prattle on at all hours
without end.

At first, we could recall the topography by day or night.
We knew the song was in our genes.

Then we lost the words and our sense of the stars,
but remembered the feel of the mountain pass

the damp ledges, the lunar quiet, the cold shadows
and the grove of shining ashes.

Then we went blind with empiricism.

Deny even the fire. A part of me is stone.
A part of me is air.

The part I love best is the part I don’t know at all.


Henny Penny Blues

In Brooklyn everyone’s grandfather dies of a heart attack
on a subway car

though this is generational and subject
to an apoplectic shift in wind.

One day Little names a successor and the sky is suspended
until further notice.

When Little returns he finds smaller particulates.
When Little returns he finds hens in the house.

‘She can go loose in the sundown.’ I am loosed upon the wind.

The gold watch with engravings upon the gears
hidden from the owner
passes from one pocket to another.


By It We See Everything Else

A deep chill. Musk of damp burlap and rotten potatoes
found in abandoned cellar
found in an old field. The rocks outlive us
until one day the rocks are no longer rocks. I like
sentences that aren’t sentences.

I didn’t wake you because my feet were frozen in mud.
Not crushed grapes.

It was sparkfall and the factory was open to the air and the
air was also a factory.

So much relies upon the wine tariff and a tax on wind.
A doubling now of vision or a proliferation of photoreceptors.
An exponentiation of multiple mediums.

A platform or a wooden house built upon a wooden house
built upon bygone coast.

Why am I discouraged by forgiveness. The life-breath
animates the body. The flies cluster.

In its violence—the violent chain—the world is at peace.
The grounded moth with the look of shale.
With wind the cedar seed finds a cliff unencumbered and bare.


The Art of Forgetting

The art of seeing isn’t hard to master, and if this is morning
then fog lifts on the little Raritan behind

the green house where vested we baptized
the whole shebang.

You want me to speak of the fog and the smallest particulate.
Simply put, things are a bit cloudy.

It will burn off and leave behind a stone’s throw of crows.

There I said it—are you happy. The glaciers are now
snowmelt. A flood of cars

crosses the east river.

My ears are lodged inside a bramble of your breathing.

And we shall know them by. The heartbeat depends upon. It is
its own fruit.


Daniel Biegelson teaches at Northwest Missouri State University, where he is also an editor for The Laurel Review. His poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Jellyfish Magazine, Meridian and The Portland Review, among other places. He hails from New Jersey.