Online Exclusive

Four Poems
Neighbor Vampire

The bones and crosses left out for him an emerald

Cicada dying attended by ants the emperor’s pleading face

All over town I dragged it behind me like a wing

The backdrop of thinning smog snow this endless study

Of heretics and the horses that thrash under their images

An entire ocean as point of reference the tournament beginning

After dawn I walk through the gate unconfronted fat veins

Of sand running under the house lightning in the valley I glide

Through the clear sky as it stands still like a building

The dusk’s figure in blue hailing a cab I was just checking

Out the clouds again just a little slower and they’re not moving

One factor of night is added to another then the dead ask me

To wiggle my toes to prove I'm the still living ghost of here


Pilot Light

Not looking for a certain way to feel the rain and

The music form teams then stop discussing instead

At the wall one leaves the room and no one sees

Another leaves and it’s on the tongues into a dusk I could

Have designed my day of nightmares scrapes night

I smoked in the woods without lungs the verbs free to make

More of themselves departing full of invented memories

I was looking for ways to go through the non margin

In the air of the room the runnels between the parked

Traffic already the questions crowd the margins the easy

Breaths the calm of my face I’m one half nearly ready

To crash out and one half eager to outshine this all


Doom Transmission

I keep a straight face for the observers those stars

Buzzing in a shared darkness a man on the television

Swallows faces something I meant to record that

Slipped the lines coming down through a face a face

Like a stone at the bottom of a fountain getting smoky

From the anonymous woods had no transition on hand

No fallback I had no idea what I might want to say

How much longer I could go on like that until the never

Ending pennsylvania night the musculature the ponderous

Hooves mesmerization as a history of horses a woman

In a pink dress and cowboy boots face after face after

Corsage cortege puking in the mass produced shrubbery

A face spilling out face after face I wore new clothes tried

To enjoy myself I had lived in their radios for decades


Carrot Fields

I cannot see past them the earth curves what I learned

Of the place came back a hole chewed through a cupboard

An old book wedged between boards and drywall never

Pull so hard you tear your fists apart from the green sky 

The greenish slopes I have done this many times and it

Never hurts the rats of heaven the marauding clouds this century

The final yield of kindness is barely enough to make

The effort worth the thought of it the limit of forgiveness

Will be obscured but not by me not in this slight lifetime

The blind mouth opens like an eye drinks a distillation of memory

Flown like a kite it comes down to fertilizer and white rain

Taproots doing their mimetic work below the crust no one

Speaks my brow's language anymore a come down from there

Mentality at work why I think of every furrow as the last

F. Daniel Rzicznek’s books of poetry are Settlers (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press ) and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press), and he is coeditor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press). His new work can be found in Denver Quarterly, The American Literary Review, Barrow Street, Witness, and elsewhere. He teaches writing at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.