Daily Postings
Literature : Word Choice

Questions of Apropos

by Ryan Flaherty


Flaherty’s “I” cruises an alien airspace in which incident collapses into incident and the final armature of voice equals non-response.


William Steinman, Mechanical Found Ghost, mixed media collage, 30 × 33 inches. Courtesy of the artist.



Questions of Apropos


Engine drone jostles the darkness in this hollow

of fuselage where I am carving the shapes of what shapes,

my ears popping from what changes in pressure?

The corkscrewed metal filings and gouges I am making,

are they more like razorwire or entropy? As the curtains

pull back, what curtains, as the mechanical arms

of the bay doors push into what light, I step back against

the walls that are like the rind of what fruit, a thin metal

between me and what cloud? Where there is no longer

metal (and since when can this belly open?), what view—

a curved, gelatinous sheen of land and atmosphere, shaking

with enginedrone, under the starpocked spigot of space?

Is it a basis of intelligence or just a molecular quirk

drawing me to the edge, my fingers going numb

from holding this “thing” over the opened cargo doors,

and I am holding what, exactly, bombardier?



Ryan Flaherty is the recipient of the 2010 PEN New England/Discovery Award for Poetry. His first book, What’s This, Bombardier?, won the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize from Pleiades Press and is available through Louisiana State University Press. He has published two chapbooks, Novas (Bateau Press), which won the Boom Chapbook Contest, and Live, from the Delay (Small Fires Press). His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Ninth Letter, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Columbia, POOL, Conduit, and elsewhere. He lives and teaches in New Hampshire.


William Steinman recently moved to Los Angeles from New York City after receiving his graduate degree from Queens College. He is now focusing on making science fiction films using 16mm film and moving away from more traditional 2D and 3D work. He is excited to be in a completely new environment and making new work.