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by robert balun




earn to survive

the everyday

conveyer of meat


there’s weather today

but it’s gotten in static


in the anxious and suspicious



the predatory territory


of my




here I am with everyone


in the dream bought with borrow

my teeth






there is always

someone else

to blame

for the restless sleep


I remember talking

but not

a word

of what I



I was a part of that



but I forget


the way rain



light into color




the insectine






the newest



the point is to erase you




I listen to my neighbor talk on their phone


looping our





the prayer of wind on long grasses


the driftwood trees

marooned to the shore of the salt marsh

like the jawbones of ancient




wildflowers surviving


the landscaped beneath


two men presiding

over them

like a service or a deployment



my chair covered in birds


the collapsing weather


rushes through the window


and everything’s been all rippled since




pockets full of static


the no-titled walk through

the airy lightness of everything polished

and told like a story


the aftermath of naming


a mouth blooming

feathery plumed tongued practice


I eat my convenience

my rotten tooth

child of the firmament


my cursed bread


my need to cash the check to catch the train back


my dispatches from the maze of refracted days and wages


the street where I buy an echo


the breath of any drug to feel normal


the sound of trying to get


closer to

an advertisement for a mountain


the opposite of where I am


that doom in your head


and the smell of money




I plant flowers in the bed

wait for them to grow towards the meridian


a prayer to remember


the body made of earth

the body made of sun


each an identity of light


the sigils accreted in the spine


a map of the ways you crack against the history of static




gathered again

into the multibody’s

expanse of unfolding



all day


the spiral morphology


backs bent to hold the hungry center


wrapped up in

the white noise



preaching its

favored symmetry


in the pulp of time’s expanse



when that was you


when that was me


in the midst of this


a name

there and then not


reclaimed by the clamor


my pockets stuffed with incense and pine

Robert Balun is an adjunct professor at The City College of New York, where he teaches creative writing and literature. He is the author of the poetry collections Acid Western (The Operating System) and Traces (Ursus Americanus Press). His poems have appeared in Reality Beach, Powder Keg, TAGVVERK, Tammy, Prelude, Barrow Street, Apogee, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others. He is also a union delegate for City College, and a PhD student in English at Stony Brook University.

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