archives spring 2008




Your name  ::  august nearly empty

Your song  ::  a viola playing its bow

Your cycle  ::  bury a child’s body underground

Your distance  ::  by earth or sky

Your body  ::  a searching throat

Your memory  ::  veined translucent wings 


[ cover ]

He wanted to sing it the way the radio sang it: invisible, tenuous, static snowing between stations. He wanted to sing it how the distant towers on the hill disappeared each night, only two sad red beacons left signaling the empty dark. Not how someone in love would sing it. Not how someone wanting love would. Maybe he’d sing it from inside a tern or gull. Maybe he’d turn his lungs to glass. Maybe he’d sing it solo in a windowless room.


Kodachrome Slides of My Father in Vietnam

19, svelte, sun burnt, shy,
fire-headed bean pole,
M-14 marksman cross
stabbed into his lapel.


Birthday Lottery, televised
draft. Strip naked. Pull
the pin. Take this mezuzah
with you. Bring it home.


Drunk, lying face up
on the floodlit runway
at night, cargo planes
climbing, dropping flares.


Leaning at the base gate
against a sign in three
languages — Thai, English,
French: You are a guest here.


Here is your letter from home.
Here is your newborn son.
Here is your security clearance.
Here is the scissored hole where his name


My father is drowning
in a rice paddy, swallowing
duckweed and mud.
The bullet hole in his windshield

resembles a glass spider,
jeep overturned, one wheel
spinning smoke. A crosshair
searches for survivors.


[ recipe ]

Muddle your plans in a mortar. Marinade your house in balsamic vinegar, dijon, szechuan pepper & salt. Smash your leased vehicle with the flat side of your knife to release its essential oils. Now pick a wine: only cook with what you’d sip. Let the invitations rise on the countertop before baking them off G.B.D. Deglaze your marriage to a delicate simmer. A bay leaf helps. Thyme. Reduce your life by half until it coats the back of a spoon. 


Brent Goodman’s work is most recently featured or forthcoming in Rattle, Court Green, Diagram, Anti-, Softblow, Zone 3, No Tell Motel, and Barn Owl Review. His first full-length collection, The Brother Swimming Beneath Me, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press.