archives fall 2008



Oh I Don’t Know, Fit Me Already

We are seeking someone named Anthony.
He should have good references, and be able

to distinguish. He should utilize brown eyes
and must not love cats, but the knowledge

that they’re evasive, somewhere always
in the house, footing about and preying

upon each other in minor chords. Anthony’s
cleanliness should be placed upon scales; however,

his patience for self-realization is no matter.
He should understand that the oath is treason,

that he will be called upon to give up succinctness.
Do you cook, Anthony? We cook.

We dabble in pulling up weeds and spending
nights without you. Once we went out late

and heard the girls say it was over, went back
inside, picked up our brooms and folded.

We can’t have that again, so we ask for you.
We think about you and sit in silence some days

humming the tune. We say, he’s going the distance;
for it; to break our hearts; to complete puzzles.

Anthony, we hear you on the other end of the line,
like a throat cancer patient dying to make

a last batch of crank calls. We want to say relax,
and stop the heaving. It’s not all that bad, really.

What’s so good about early? We should have a drink, get to
know each other, what you’re looking for. Find out

that you’re drafting a recourse that reads, what,
here’s my plan?


His Love Works the Dead Letter Office

When the letter is sent, he walks the length of the pacing room and waits for word. The night folds backward into the dimming house where the light is flicked on and the body accrues its memory. There is the laughing. The whole exaggerated wish of it going on and on, without end. The wiring of vessels under the skin. Later, the birds flutter in from the chimney. He finds their feathers have been gnarled by pirate birds who’ve intercepted and pillaged the words. All of their breath coming at his face in heaves, exalts. He doesn’t even know what she’s received.


A Stop at the Light Keepers’ Cemetery

You and I drove, lost for hours over
the purposefully unsmoothed
dirt roads; I wasn’t angry
but your father’s car shook apart
in the heat and dust.

We read each name
together, or I read them
to you: sweating, staring
at our ten dollar map.
Their children beneath

our feet huddled deep
within the island clay. Ours
were still and unborn
within me. Wives were there too;
and men who once showed others
how not to go.  


DJ Dolack’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Columbia Poetry Review, DIAGRAM, Forklift, Ohio, Octopus, and Handsome, among others. He is a contributing editor at Eye For An Iris Press, which will be unveiling a new website and venture in fall 2008. His chapbook The Sad Meal is available from Black Ocean. He is also finishing work on a new collection, from which these poems are taken. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.