“…Again,” “Be Excited, But Stay Grounded” and “Poster”

In Issue 60 by Flan Daniels

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Photo by Fudo Jahic on Unsplash

...Again

Is it at the wake of dawn,

On the front porch of a chipped Victorian,

Naïve eyes wandering above the oaks’ thinning

Hairline in the East; is it in the shadow

Of a lamp, reflecting on stars’ sacred tease,

Window shades offering the seasons?

Is it in the disheveled bedroom of a teenager,

Swimming through a fickle becoming;

Or of an aged, arm-chaired professor,

Synthesizing and writing, writing and synthesizing?

On the other-filled subway, simultaneously

Scanning for similarly scarred souls;

Or in the crumbly hut in the crumbly White Mountains,

The sole trekker into the descending mist?

Is it combing through the unknown

Rubble of Raqqa, or, that in Aleppo once,

Even Ephialtes, again, stood, ambiguous, paralyzed?

Is it when spoken—

Spoken with a fist in the air

Or mic to the chin? Spoken in the

Glorious name of Truth by collared dogs

Demanded and urged to speak!

Or is it enacted? Spontaneously

Like a sweaty, game-worn jersey;

Or with flipped pages of calendars,

Again and again, set and set, again and again?

The beer I spilled last Friday,

And wore on the January walk home,

Rose, obfuscated, unreachable, from my coat.

A happy refill, another dance, his recycled joke,

The all-gracious embrace, another flat foam

And flat conversation to search—

What was it again?

That built up the tired,

That return leg of the restless heart?

Again, what were you trying to get at?

Be Excited, But Stay Grounded, 9/13

I want to express how excited I am,

How much I think I might like you (and how much that scares me)

How I want to put my fingers between my ribs

And tear open the experiences I am,

To share, to disclose who I am,

Who I think I am,

How my imaginings of your perceptions

Make me out to be.

            Be excited, but stay grounded.

I see your goodness, I see your values,

And in them I see mine.

I see how you oppose me

And I recognize my time to see how I like it.

I see the pasts and presents of

You I can only speculate about,

And in them, my own distended speculations.

            Be excited, but stay grounded.

I can hear in your footsteps the depths you’ve walked

And the drips of oceans you’ve swam,

Gracefully exploding on the concrete sidewalk,

Sliding off your legs and

Leaving infinite craters to but

Dangle my legs in.

And the road that has become the moon

Away from it all

Swings to my orbit

And the world I am still exploring.

Is it the same for you?

Poster, 12/11

Hungover from New York to New Haven,

Browned as the leaves

Covering passing parking lots

Who, some time ago now,

Yielded themselves

To some great cradle

They shall

Surely now

Possibly remember, never

Witness.

Sadly, the comely woman in Norwegian wool

Was not there last night—

Amidst the sharp ringing of bottles

And consequential patting of damp sweaters,

The new space beside your right hip

That no longer yields an introduction—

But here, in your train chair,

Her brown, oak hair and paper gaze

Is always willing to meet your

World of latency

To nowhere

Real.

About the Author

Flan Daniels

Originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, Flan Daniels now lives in New York City. Flan's work seeks to get to the crux of what it means to be human.