Monday Jul 22

RosenbergDan Dan Rosenberg is the author of The Crushing Organ (Dream Horse Press, 2012) and cadabra (Carnegie Mellon UP, 2015). He has also written two chapbooks, A Thread of Hands (Tilt Press, 2010) and Thigh's Hollow (Omnidawn, forthcoming 2015), and he co-translated Miklavz Komelj's Hippodrome (Zephyr Press, forthcoming 2015). Rosenberg teaches literature and creative writing at Wells College and co-edits Transom.

when the small house empties I refill

into the freeze     its oppression white
as heaven’s slow crystal meander
over my neighborhood     blotted sky
     I cast myself     begloved     behatted
against but one slight part of the cold

I raise the ladder in one hand in
the other a bucket primed with seed
     I step and grip the rungs unfurling
above me     aluminum wobble

I climb to the birdfeeder we’ve perched
atop a tall black pole     its baffle
like a bell guard squirrels ricochet around
and up the blade of my confusion
getting in the way     this menial

feeding of the creatures defines us
     a unit of feeding whatever
mouths appear attached to wings or paws
or eyes like mirrors of my wife’s     I

spill again my bucket into this
false small home we’ve made for no living
but eating what the birds want     below
is what they don’t     A wide splay of seeds
scavenged by squirrels     mouths red in the snow

her teeth glow give her red tongue blackness

and the club beat has a dark corner
     around it the bright dancer flexes
the pole is risen     here green bills fan
what fire is left in a splay unzipped
from memory     we’ve all come here to

be bodies     caught in the gyroscope
when the dancer curls on her axis
points the long way     is black-lit and black
napkin stuck damp to my glass breaks me

down with this visible love     I am
of the strobe light     still motion without
connective tissue anchors me here
in the fog dream of loose drifting men
     a hazard of which     anonymous

I am a lost part     from my own true
lord I tell the dancer and she shines
a dry sweat prickles     my pale trousers
the music hard aflutter she cups

my vision     in her phalanges     I
trace the soft ends of wings her shoulders
cut the air     across my face hair whips
     like feathers beating heaven     this says
she through white teeth is a flagellum

one hungry lover turns to other

it’s thick outside today the sky melts
me down the fire escape is hot
black metal against my hand it sticks
     to damaging my skin     I am bent
like a supplicant to red weather

returning faithful to the rooftop
sunbathing lover burning bright red
wanting this lotion in my white hand
I squeeze it welcome     onto her back

and gently rub at first protection
into her skin     a black ant slowly
drowning then gets smeared across her thin
shoulder blades are soaking in the white
lotion     infused with aloe cooling

and the black streak of ant planted there
like some divine leggy spray of seeds
     disappearing into her hot skin
my lover twisting under my hands

I can feel the muscles bulging     there’s
some tense shudder lover moaning from
under the vanishing lotion black
streaked     two balls of down break to small wings
flexing lover turns to taste my face