Marshland I dreamt you In the eye bandage On the growl- Out Spuming fungal Bacterial body Building itself Dew Ants Dripping Sacks Down Grass Blades Engrossing planet Piece me Engorging planet Fill me With black puzzles Night-fever stings Blood network Blade me Root me Vein me Your metallic smell Into precious Ores I can't destroy Leaden sack break Heard In the night’s core By itself I came here to find Everything Trashed by light And let it multiply
I First Dream of Being
penetrated and penetrating outside the soft fingers of smoke stacks. In my lungs, I take my first chalky gulp of the Earth’s blood. The smell of metal burns the ropes of my brain’s bridges for the thoughts in my lobes—one from one, nature from not, lust from the axe fall of progress— down narrow chasms they walk into narrower chasms, no way to tell which tunnel getting smaller will collapse and cause the stroke. Down this path: a single slit of light flits a rainbow sheen on mushroom skin. Down that path: a holding cell with a door leading to a locked door leading to a brick wall. I find myself in the musty cavern air folding into other others cut at the seam by the thin strand of light leaking from the quartz-crystal meat split in the cave wall’s weakest spot. I am starting to understand retroactively the language of the girders trapped in the skyscrapers I once walked in. How stuck in place to be bathed in that three o’clock light licking my shoes made of leather. Only now do I understand the bones of that metal playing leafily their flutes made of siren and floodlight. I thank them for their labor with my legs dangling and a whistle made of reeds. I play them my blood’s song.
I groped A mirror In oak tree darkness Today Focused my eye On some unsung Slow moving Bright Running river In my crow’s feet Not a crag did babble a bubble So silent that light was And what I did see Grated me Aged cheese The horror! The horror! Culturing me
Greened Inside Me
Greened inside me a copper-grown ringing early in my early years. Humid afternoon lung tumor 40,000 leaguing me in a hot low-cut lawn airsick breathing in my rusted diving suit antique. A Rorschach of sweat stains in the pits of my black shirt. My soft arm traced the constellated light in the noon sun. My attenuated fingers cut every air to make a crystal pattern, then I fell off the house’s siding climbing the wisteria. Being grounded inside the smell of soil I exorcised on the ground with green breathing exercises. At mantis-eye level I choked down the pollen I carried on the lacerated rims of my nostrils. I masked my fear with green smells and the indifference cicada carved itself a gold shoreline inside me so I bent my knobbly knees and sat by the anachronistic brook by the black bushes behind the house. Smell of mold at my boyhood desk, comfort me. Come for me at dusk like the dull smell of come in summer coating that thin tree’s wide leaves. Experience’s abstract fur coats the back of my throat, so I sip my tea. Through the open mouth of my lonely window: hiss-pop percussion construction. Into the mouth blade-of-grass-shaped fingers of time reach.
A Name Is Only A Mask
A name Is only a mask Here Sleep is only Sleep Night ignition Not-named A key To open time’s peer Hole If you’re curious Curiosity killed The moon Is an eye and the eye Bloodshot
Architecture Of hare Shape on monn A skeleton A castle Precision-marrowed Halls Time burrowed I tip my finger Into bone Opening A childlike curiosity Treble wind Up my sleeve A song I sang as a youth Slips the trees In the humid woods Gonna waltz down To the marsh For the possums Gonna waltz down For the snakes 1075 white eyes Dark untraceable Mouths Opening skyward Daylight moonlight Teeming low Its child-like voice Whipping Banjos Hardly a child Here Hardly a hare Here
Ryan Bollenbach is a writer with an MFA from the University of Alabama’s creative writing program where he formerly served as the poetry editor for Black Warrior Review. He reads for SweetLit and Heavy Feather Review. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Timber, Colorado Review, smoking glue gun and elsewhere. Find his tweets @SilentAsIAm, more writing @ whatgreatlarks.tumblr.com