Daniel Poppick was the winner of Bomb’s 2012 Poetry Contest, judged by Ben Lerner.

Daniel Poppick is “assisted by a radiance of bending.” Many of the most beautiful lines show grammar almost breaking up: “For you was sunburnt I are leaving we am buoyed by / Homages…” Bending, buoyancy—the poems have both delicacy and force. “We am” might be a solecism, but it’s also an urgent dream. Reading, we am radiant. “Between us flows a school.”

— Ben Lerner

Net

We wring the museum a diary rain
& in its sheet shake unfastened the January
Entertainments an indoor century with wax
 
Fixed in its gold disc’s glare a plate with one face
Punched in & beaming at the string of beads
Made blades with which I slash the painted
 
Monster’s chin a beard of eyes this weather
Slips indoors & we continue sleeping off the diary
Of wax by gulping water you say you saw
 
The clouds wring rain of its museum
& glasses arrive brimming with wax entrainments
Joining webs of bone bleached in a horse’s
 
Throat her slashed-off horn pasted to the day
In the diary regarding sleepers & a lidless snow
 

 

The Mail

I would like to be arrested with you under the bank
 
thermometer in protracted
          strobe, greeting my instruments in
 
depositions, whittling
                    minutes off the rosary into
 
          a blue bag I steal
                              away with, blood tweeted
 
into re: the smear the light
                              bears off repeating
 
my friend rides waving by & she denies it
          in some thunder, the anthem
 
droning for
               one demanding access to the marquee
 
          we confetti off   the bloom from
 
                                                  she rides
home with matches dripping from jeans
 
& I follow reserving
                         fire less for wishing blink
 
than noon’s serial punctuation
          flipping through flame’s Post-it without reading
 
empty hives, deployed
                                   in parachutes embraces if
 
          sanctioned I swear by
                                             night to purchase notes
 
for those embers, to continue singing in subtraction
 
 

 

Champagne Year

In chrome we were functional
I’m talking metal for our lives while eschewing skeletal gold
Like span and flex and generation, canines all
 
Sharpened under a land inhaling
Persons as if it had given
Up on rain, but weather’s not information it only wears its shirts
 
And like la migliora fabbra sang this shirt is how I feel.
For you was sunburnt I are leaving we am buoyed by
Homages before day drops hits.
 
I do not think an occupation
Will teach us how to live but it may well teach us why to
And I welcome that stricture clean-willed as
 
Entertainments
Pierce sleep’s flow in waves of interview
So I am assisted by a radiance of bending
 
From corpus
Into a paperclip to slip onto a chain
So the breath exchanged in conversation will be a sitcom that
     not only
 
Bathes the room in blue light but may be remembered in
Waking, sweeter than the via dolorosa David
Letterman nightly takes us on with all his stupid teeth. God
     knows movies
 
Turn us toward a castle and me I’m processing being on
     holiday first with
Then inevitably from votives, so.
Do you follow? On
 
The twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of
The twenty-first century let’s
You and I meet from a variety of angles like magnets with
     a history
 
Rotating titanium flame, then pry each other
From its fingers
Strictly for the feeling of extracting other nouns from
     emitted light
 
Into a reflected one
Perforated with verbs as plentiful as rocking horses and
     wooden swords
Our tongues once made iron, for with our tongues
 
Myth flows of its own volition, washing
Machine packed with white sheets worn as capes. Perhaps
     the sheets are
Waves they are waves. Between us flows a school

 

The News

Transportation glows in the mammal
 
that you went by the banter one
     last time, the conversation about the bees
 
that plague, they were dying, what
                                     they would do
 
     to vegetable, vine, dialogue off
from a different season, & we would not know
 
     one plague from the next or
                                        the next one
 
being repetition, another its collapse
     another sound & still
 
another word of mouth
                    mouth the premise
 
     & cure   or would
 
                              you ride
another animal, a bird, a horse
 
     though the road lit by hide now
                                        plays like a
 
rag, song-harrowed bow, strings fucked
     into sugar
 
that you would tip your brim upon hearing
                                             the hive
 
     set bridling by the speed of swarm
 

 

Daniel Poppick lives in Iowa City and teaches creative writing at Coe College. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review Online, and the Claudius App. He edits the Catenary Press with Rob Schlegel.

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poetry contest
BOMB 121
Fall 2012
The cover of BOMB 121
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