Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dan Raphael Somersaults Until the Pigeons Become Gift Cards and a Transgalactic Pickup Trying to Dot an Asteroid

Now I Lay Me

I sleep when I’m tired, wherever I am
I croon to the fridge when I’m hungry, no matter whose kitchen
an open door to growling darkness & uncertain floors 
neath a chalky mist of disconstruction

Why am I peeing gasoline
how far can my clothes escape when I’m out of my body
if you’ve never made love to a sidewalk
if the rains never left so many holes in your hand every gesture’s orchestrated
i could unravel into a pavilion transporting you to an unnamed mythology
leaving you dazed & lubricated, slightly taxed & spiritually attuned

When I do an upright somersault crossing 4 lanes the pigeons turn into gift cards;
a halo of applause I’ll redeem for the days first window
like a police car turned into a fruit cake we keep regifting
as the buildings add more floors the street must trim its budget;
as cars get wider & more must park tween fewer lines
got my armor from the u-pull-it & prepare to slay the petro-dragon

One song for the exhaustion over taking us
one song to convince the sun to forgive again


the hand would knock, would find a knob to turn. a dour door diorama—
just finding a tree wide enough these days, of goldilocks density,
straddling the bow and the rib, tension when everything is still

things you have to bend to get in, be it room  crowd   or university,
to get into my old uniform, out of the many-form, the mostly blue and loose
the synergistic contact field of costume and identity,
the same song on another frequency requires different moves, a bump in volume

is that snow, glitter or some unexpected coagulate of the air and what we put inside it
shower before bed and wake in new clothes
as the less dogs go outdoors the more they run in their sleep
scratch to open, squeeze and turn bringing knee to nose
focusing on an upside-down pine inhaling the studio through polypore windows,
cellular alveoli, dervishes of constant transport

       the wind owes nothing,
the wind collects but has no pockets, no skin to bruise
that cloud with a hanging dog penis whose end unfurls to a starfish
swallowed by the ocean that spawned it, what clouds can do for teeth,
what wind can do to efficiency--wait until the door stops to enter;
hesitation may indicate contraband.

did i get the address wrong or is this the right house in the wrong city,
the area code in my pocket, the impatient streets this map ignores,
why do i have to be the moving part and provide my own lubrication,
signing a maintenance contract is waiving your rights,
replacing filters i never had, adding belts that clash with my atmosphere

turn the key, press the pedal, close your eyes and scream some song--
a big cup of electric guitars the only caffeine i need

Hunger Town

4 medium cost the same as 3 large
depending on who you’re feeding, where they’ve been, what we started with
not counting the drinkage and druggage, gasoline fumes, winter or summer,
what we can shoot along the way, whether they cut the pie into 8 or 10,
the radius of the sun bringing down several trees with its double axles
randomly studded smoke-tread hanging from the vine like clouds from a sprinkler system

i pulled up for chicken but the suit was too small, 
a transgalactic pickup trying to dot an asteroid,
share the protein as you want--that’s not my hand inside the glove
sprouting feathers like an instant forest convincing us growth is easier,
the weather is our puppet, water just happens

eat what you can catch, what you can afford, when no ones looking
don’t let those pizza crusts go to waste, whats the interest rate at the food bank,
free the seeds, a fence means youre paranoid, a road means youre running away
banished from the local coz the cows no longer speak your language,
like changing channels but you cant change back, someone replaced the satellite with art,

electrified oil in unsettled water as the pool liner evaporates in rapture
koi ghosts reclaim their skin from the lungs of the neighborhood,
herons we all have to pay for, this close to the river i dont want gravity to  know

grass explodes sidewalk
           the tallest not always first to go but soon
       or anyone out in the middle
         who would think of going against the stream and the wind
         random invisible furniture
         when the feng shui is perfect the building transcends
rivers reverse, clouds pulling up,
we ascend mountains and get elemental, broader-spectrumed
how is a thunderstorm like a drive through restaurant,
carwash re-automated to deliver, hot and seeping, we are not what we eat: 
food is fuel, work is paycheck, nothing this tasty is given away

For a couple decades, Dan Raphael has been active in the Northwest as a poet, performer, publisher and reading host. His next book, Everyone in this Movie Gets Paid, will be out summer of ’16 from Last Word Press.  His current poems appear in Big Bridge, Peculiar Mormyrids, Caliban, Tip of the Knife and Streetcake.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Matthew Borczon and the Perils of Compassion Fatigue


In my
I always
wrote the
date and
I worked
day or
night shift

I wrote
a list
of injuries
I saw
and the
number of
who died
then  I
wrote what
I ate
for dinner
and if
I talked
to Dana
or my

in one
before the
middle of
my tour
of duty
I wrote
one extra
line simply
asking myself
if I
thought I
should be
worried that
this all
feels so


in Kuwait
2 weeks
from home
I hear
the word
fatigue for
the first
time in
my life

after all
you have
seen you
may just
be too
to care
about people
for awhile

we were
advised to
sleep a
lot and
watch movies
before we
head home
and remember
you may
not be
able to
be a
kind person
for awhile

5 years
later and
I am still
not a
kind person

not any
kind of

Timeline 3

the first
night a
flew over
my house
I was
running out
my door
before I
I was
home and
the Hospital
was a
war and
a world

Matthew Borczon is a nurse and Navy sailor from Erie Pa. He was deployed to the busiest combat hospital in Afghanistan in 2010-11 where he lost a part of his soul. His work has appeared in Dead Snakes, Dissident voice, busted Dharma, Big hammer, 1947 as well as many other small press publications. His chapbook a clock of human bones won the Yellow chair review 2015 chap book contest and is available at their web site.