you are in the diode archives fall 2009



This morning I woke with a new twin
branching forward from my center, conjoined,
facing me, already awake, our body a wishbone.
I like her freckles. She complements my Fantastic Sam’s.
One toe tickles the other. When she stares at her reflection
inside my eyes, I imagine us back within the body of a bird,
any bird really, lodged again between two wings.


The Boy Who Swam to the Bottom of the Pool

stays there. Attention trick
turned transfiguration, his opal eyes
watch deeper now. 2 weeks pass
without apology. 3 months the projector
shuffles images against the veil
between chlorine blue and sky-blue
sky. His mother sieves leaves
from the surface with her hands
or is she crying. His heart
now transparent, body of water,
days pass into circles like a drain return,
his attention turning wholly to one
pearling shapeless light—
The moon. No. The sun.


Hearses are the new black

Hearses arriving in style windows midnight smoky moonlight
Hearses craning heads on the Marquette Interchange overpass
Hearses comparing matching casket purses
Hearses harmonica “Love Me Do” in the family funeral home car park
Hearses rear vault door swung wide open
Hearses hydraulic tracks and canvas tension tie-downs
Hearses scolding redhead father how to drive
Hearses hearing voices
Hearses red wagons and rag dolls I chauffeured around recess
Hearses first date prank
Hearses salvaged for go-cart grills and carburetor parts
Hearses combing Brill Cream through black black hair
Hearses feeling full of themselves
Hearses day trip to Madison Morgue from Milwaukee I was seven
Hearses dear Herman Munster I had a crush on Eddie
Hearses clown car all my uncles for a dollar at the drive-in movie
Hearses picking up nice Jewish girls
Hearses tending ovens where bread burns to ash
Hearses texting limos on designer chocolate cell phones
Hearses feeling so goddamn empty inside
Hearses sitting shiva with a thousand noodle casseroles
Hearses biting nails and cinching ties
Hearses mounting magnetic wee flags on their hoods
Hearses excusing themselves like diplomats through every intersection
Hearses headlights always on


What to Do with My Body

Slingshot my eyes into the sun.
Unpuzzle my heart from my ribs.
Lay my left scapula in an owl’s nest.
Use the right to furrow a field.
Mulch my feet in a rooftop garden.
Burn the rest of my bones.
Pour my voice down the well.
Cock and balls, it’s been real.
My skin will find its own way home.
Smolder incense inside my ears.
All this hair—make a wish!
Commute each vertebrate to a different time zone.
Transfuse my blood into my enemy.
Better take my liver with.
Imagine my brain inside your television.
Give my ass back to DaVinci.
Pile my teeth beneath the holocaust quarry.
Donate my softest parts to the living.
My lungs: how will you tell them?
Take me with you.
Keep my hands in your pockets.
Leave nothing behind.


Jonathon Edwards Channeling Albert Einstein to the Wrong Family
During an Unaired Taping of Crossing Over

God begins beneath the subatomic.

An equation that repeats itself has no beginning

and no end. Only man

stands upright as a variable.

The Earth is over 4 billion years old.

Black holes are well springs which sip

from themselves. The only thing

between us and God is us.

A hydrogen bomb is a tiny piece of the sun

set down on a dry lakebed, a turquoise-blue atoll.

Jesus is ink on a shroud—that’s all—

another iteration toward the internal.

Where energy and matter untangle,

quantum strings shimmer

between your mind and mine. I’m not

gone:  you’re still there.

Near light speed our molecules unbind.

We’re all pixels inside this design.  


Brent Goodman’s debut collection is The Brother Swimming Beneath Me (2009 Black Lawrence Press). He is a volunteer poetry mentor in the Dzanc Creative Writing Sessions and an assistant editor for the journal Anti-. The poems appearing in this issue are from his new manuscript Far From Sudden.