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Seven Poems

To sing’s to field thought’s
failed arrow, then drop it,

as sadness surprises,
as always, then doesn’t,

its record all rumors, bits
of lithic in its meat,

and floats me dream-dead
to this, its constant room.


Too Much

Wind above
and now on

clawing like
you’re climbing while
you fall.



If I come to know I’m dreaming,
a cold and sudden vigilance
in story’s warm torque,
then I’m not dreaming,
but you, you there, might mean
what having missed the breath
you had to catch to get here meant,
an imagined eventual blankness
thrown clear of all precedent.


One Contrition

Beginning where you look at it, the world:
square dark clouds, scorched color as light’s last friend
giving way to speed as freedom’s false friend,
while in the theater of what it seems
won’t even disappear, we move some props,
not forever, nor only to amuse,
said you and old music to a lover
just prior to the first time you left her,
the one who could fall asleep anywhere,
as though the first of the ways you failed her
could be waited for yet—though there’s no chance
of its evolving never to be that—
and who in what used to be the future,
that tucked-away test fiction, spells the dusk. 


Passenger Side

Sun through
a wound

in some plastic
wrap caught 

on wire around
a field I’m not in,

and then that
image caved in,

carved out, raved
up into cultural glue.


On the off chance
the other shoe

shows up down
the road, I’ll have

feelings too
famous to describe.


The False

Whistle while you whisper the whole
while you’re on your way to work.

That very infinity’s the very infinity
that veers off into the known to lose your worth.



but “above.”


Like fireworks,
a gift from Earth
Earth can’t take back.


“What to say when I get there?
Kinds of circles?” I think,
painfully dried through by light.


Everything’s pushing up
rainbows as though
their colors were pieces of behavior.


Born in Tennessee and raised in Wisconsin, Graham Foust is the author of six books of poems, including To Anacreon in Heaven and Other Poems, a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award; and Time Down to Mind(both Flood Editions). With Samuel Frederick, he has also translated three books by the late German poet Ernst Meister, including Wallless Space (Wave Books). His latest book, Embarrassments, will be published by Flood Editions in May of 2021. He lives in Colorado and works at the University of Denver.