Two Poems by Jeremy Behreandt

Only when the last bureaucrat is hung from the entrails of the last capitalist
will we realize we cannot eat digital snow

—quoted text from George Eliot’s Middlemarch

in danbury, connecticut the snowdrifts snarl
opinions over distances.              maneki neko
lifts one winter paw.               bon soir papillon,
bruise way in.                              to hope is a verb
with extension in space.          to hope as milk
ripples in kinshasa,                         as in kinshasa
the stetsons float                    into murmuration
as hosannas are returned       to every pavilion.
and the laboratories      where the obsolete if
is decomposed into mergers,
“but the end
of mr brooke’s pen was a thinking organ
evolving sentences.”                ghost logos,
fracture of moths enters maneki neko’s belly,
muscle draws mantis into man, mantis draws
prayer from the matisse,
the manners of edgar allan poe diminish
with the coming sirocco,                   the sirocco
he must misconstrue               as l’altelier rouge.
baudelaire contracts     poe’s ardor into arson
and the savoir faire of the technician
outstrips by far                      all i have prepared
to move.                                       to move as much.
i’m no doubt unmoved:  i refuse and give up.
to hold
force to feel through
the slow: a simpleness unlike grief,
the crows
scattered by revolver into depth of field.
pearl-handled revolver,  telephone
receivers           flocking breakage over.
erudition undermines the dream in which
snowflowers like familiars dissolve and reappear.
the news knits itself with forgiving,
the mewling of stray cats is a magnet
to draw my iron together.
fail, bisect, press.                              after the frost,
the parted curtain.          to blush the pigment off
the wing in capital’s migration, “before the rest
of his mind could well overtake them.”
baudelaire’s tolouse rehearses the argument
across two wars. the master class performs
jumping jacks just to stay warm. in a rented
apartment, tolouse                   ruses canvasses
from the frame;         boxes the students’ ears.
migration of particulars into use,
said as comedian
in a red sea lecture, if you wake and do not yearn
for bread, if you eat bread and do not yearn
for song, if you sleep and do not yearn to be
woken by telephone, you are not my neighbor
no matter how near.

 

Mutual appreciation society

truly in sleep one finds the mask of the badger
carrying the dead day down: the moldovans
dance until the earliest stage of dancing gives way,
the qualia of koalas is their own distinct decree,
the senegalese are unknown for their coffee bean.

the dust one draws up dancing the same dance,
dwindling the same eucalyptus dare, roasting
the shadow between shadows scares up prayers
of the 10,000 departed into welcome. in famine,

how the bones heave one’s eagerness to be
mindful, to inundate the grand prix in caffeine
and mount the banisters along the staircase
of belief. that is the marimba in learning, created

not to honor the gods but to honor the beach.
no, one cannot challenge the somnolent art, one’s
convictions are only laughing. great caspar
of the faucet dripping! at the crossroads

the marimba carries the store of what is and what
is to be. at one’s ear, it is the oneiric indefatigable
whispering. who calls from that conch shell
calling? who has earned the right to speak?

***

Jeremy Behreandt was raised in Park Falls, Wisconsin. He received his BA from UW-Eau Claire and his MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. His first chapbook, The Wilhelm Scream, was published by Plumberries Press.

Photo credit: luisrock62, morguefile.com

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