five

 

 

THE DUMB LAMB

I sing of what I see. dumb lamb twirls
O on everlasting spit shaved to mouth
some dollars’ worth
worlds to gum dust from squares in
array. Wealth and ice
and eyes on a tray. Long, long ago
I would have killed these people so bad.
The near ice only shines through its sluice heaven.
A fenced yard
allied with white sauce, hot sauce, salad, fries,
washed down with a coke to the vitals,
seeing its own broke law gummed and
accounted for little. A lick on the baby
smiles, choir nearby numbing. O dumb lamb leering
while the poem hands crumbly to pay hands.

 

 

 

LITTLE STATIONS

at night with water they wash down the stations
sweep the empty gloves
away from the tracks

the stations glisten —
holes in the knees and jobs
returned as math

applied to applause
stay and touch shoulders
where no one can see

thank you MTA sanitation workers
thank you hours empty of
common traffic and commerce

it's our given to mind
ways to walk away just
to be and to love

 

 

 

TWINKLE

The arrested not yet is not yet happening
but really forcing it forward against its will
you are all in this room you are not yet
and all I can think is the void needs something to hinge it
tinder kindly singing
all of you friends if this mouth can say you
those other ways of living go by
novelty twinkles, singes, swings, hinges
not yet tender or worn as the edge of a photograph
and all I can think is I am missing them
in the reflection in the window of the bare white walls
but really forcing it forward against its will
kindly simmering lentils in a pan
you friends of a mouth, all of you
those other ways of living go by
not yet visible outside the window
their tides move against the swimmers
to sing of tiring, to tire of singing
to sip seltzer from a glass in Emily’s apartment
all in this room you are not yet missing

 

 

 

ANIMALS FOR JAN

Have you forgotten
what we were like then
indeterminate spaces
in tiling, in brickwork

numerical equations
anticipating purely
mineral states

we made larval
decisions and no
one we knew then
was dead or would be

little animals came
out of the soil
reciting the names
for each day

I wouldn’t want
to be different
then o you
were the best of
all my days

 

 

 

ONE DUSK OVERTURE

a yellow falling golden on
the blank facade
the blank facade is overcome
with its blank facade its
thought
is going towards the night with bunches
of hands in flowery vents
the trains put out toward milked
towns interruptable       the elements
element fawning towns
where grass is lift to
instruments
to warn
the tides
of this

see there the past is tinting into this one unbearably irreducible dusk as dusk a form or shape thought fungible from eve to eve some dull platonic rotation of orbs abound orbs their lights reflecting colors shifting held themselves in and by grave inert balance circles around which orbs arrayed in circles circle think

of a circle

in the bluing sky

 

 

Contributor

Daniel Owen

Daniel Owen is a writer and member of the Ugly Duckling Presse editorial collective. He is the author of Toot Sweet (United Artists Books) and the chapbook Authentic Other Landscape (Diez). His writing has appeared in Hyperallergic, Elderly, Lana Turner, A Perimeter, The Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere.

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