Three Poems by Daniel Poppick

BOMB 135 Spring 2016
Bomb 135 Cover

Dancing On My Own

The tint hid you. Something about being in hell, and having no duties because of it. That tilt into freedom. I’ve never been so, eject my previous works, break with them like a vine entering an Egyptian organization of stone fallen into common apex obsolescence. Its walls come out in fistfuls and the dead flower through. To walk through the plaza with a biological diagnosis folded in your back pocket, the evening folded ahead of you. I felt the full radius of your sobriety when you said this “sounds adult.” The people walking by were wet with conversation. In a damp room dense with fellowship the laser point slides up my corpulent surface and my back leg lives alone in a room whose rent is no dollars.

Nothing is this easy. The move is sociopathic, it demands and then rejects more than is possible in a given life—you just crane your spine and move its maximum volume. A dimensional eroticism, like kill everything that’s dead in me. I have this tender hatred for all we nearly are. Airplane shadows slide over the meadow protected from hollow heaven, laughing as the streetlamps flash their balls in the breeze. A class of children spill around them and run out all the exits at once. I open my eyes and recognize more faces than I thought the mind allowed in its “yellow pages,” I see the coats of arms from friendships past crystallize at every glance: in the train, on the street, the news, at my job and other job. My own face drops like a glove in the shade. Baby spiders pour inside. Drums drift through the trees. The golden hour. I come to my senses at an awful party, bodies twitching all around us, dipping their mouths to the libertine hole in the air, the East River framed by the wall-sized picture window behind us glittering evil in cinemascope nightfall. A poet turns to me and says, “You’ve totally exceeded my expectations of you.”

And what were we seceding from? The weather was too wrong for running. An ambulance echoes more in rain, water being more reflective than what it protects. This is its signature style—style defined here as everything exceeding function. And in that sense a truly emergent tool; there are ringtones that run abreast with music rising from the pit but always one tying trip wire between the hedges. Plucked, it rings a perfect C, and the emergency passes into my legs. As I find you only get to spend what time it isn’t. It isn’t 12:34 in the afternoon, a shadow past the solstice in 2015. We three travelers reddening around a single sunset. A badness mothered under Advilean amber dripping from municipal sycamores whose limbs line the edge of this cirrus ceiling. My God it is adhesive. And who was the tron that walked beside you peeling its song from the floor?

Fear of Description

Fluid curse
Cut loose from the face
Seeping across the psycho-synagogue
Defriending my pupils
Black as the phone that sweeps the strings
I almost broke down and bought one
After losing my charger
And alarm
But now to what sound do I rapidly sleep
By the Aeolian window
Enacting my costume
Left open to drench these keys
The rain too wrongly falling to run in

In a warm room automatic as speech
When asked in an interview
Do I want the position
I wake to leave and return to clean
Teeth grow in, go out
Branch from my head and wave about
Phosphorescing softly in the beard’s mezzanine
Clicking on this vaudevillian vine 
By night I do 
No by day
Mute life plays, rising to the skin
To dream this concrete
Shape we’re in

Land Sport

Summoning claptrap from fluid voxes, ribs flicker
White to white we gather the beak’s
Scroll, nothing is born wanting to make a scene but

Gilded on the hour’s screen
What blondes out of you is
      Blessed with a note of F U N C T I O N

           Summer dumps a vale of gears
           And I feel I’ll never die
           Cinematic tears will blazon
           Lips with mercury

Don’t dialing you didn’t hear me pretend
He did it cobbling a piece of numbers
Static sparrow
Enters the plastic where among

           Antibody cradles we distribute a century
           In stereo midnight
           Until retiring to the ocular’s solace
           Andromeda protests through the zero she

           A zone approaching no priest
           Cold to the thought for her jaw folds daylight
           & swallows the drive
           ”You used to hate-watch
           With me when I was a kid” is 

The last phrase to enter
The continuum before I nod off. Black walnuts
Flatten in the Doppler fog of a cat unloading

           All sound that’s been
           From the back of 8 a.m.’s throat
           I stop somewhere waiting for you

Hush effluvium, take a dip in the hydrant
He drowses & lolls in the lapse between pageants, blows
Raspberries on the bellies of fragments
Phoning flowers to his tongue a blue
Rides the stem in the wavelength’s suction
Your heart a nub 

Proteins fallow out glitches
           On the crystal stage revolving on
           A pike & 
           Exploding through fur
           Pyramid lake looms like a pastor 

      Permafrost bones the valley, wildflowers
      Wring air into

      F  I  C  T  I  V  E harbor surface, flick on the
      Boom malady + Pheromone metonym this is the
           End of the museum pencil

           A radical affinity thumps the lead bud<
           Thuggery paints his boot-sole with its wing 

           Slow your green slogan we gather
           Glass foliage
           Sanction equipage & all you get equals 

= Basket of angry
Baloney getting wet to end in
F     R     I     E     N     D

            So data, not a fire alarm,
            Sequester tulips like a doom
            Kids are fatter than the annual
            Tech the seasons room

            I sever fire from action movies
            And save it for a post-school snack
            But when love vexes up my money
            I hum a cataract

           Is my métier tired of grieving
           For the smells that haunt a spoon?
           Light leaks out of names and nouns
           Evening hits cartoons

           So Donald has a temperature
           Akin to January, reels 
           His horse, that feathered knight,
           Into many meals

           So I’ll hide in food and function
           Nightly like a cooling duel
           As if waves with windmill heads
           Never asked for duels

Figures. Somewhere someone is burning The Turn of 
the Screw

      Rote vessel in a vest of
      Ventriloquism cradling heat like
      A thriller listens to pinpricks
      Punched into the firmament

      So love from sharpest
              Quill billows the drain
Ordered to off the breathable marrow for my
Love’s a note’s shard on air’s floor. If by late you mean

Dead as a prefix then yes “the human body has made
Of paralysis a house for
Our dreams.” NO

                       ➤    MORE NIGHTS IN ROLODEX
                       ➤    A SUNLIGHT FLOWING OVER OUR SEATS
                       ➤    RETRACT THE METHODICAL BLOSSOMS
                       ➤    NOT IN THE HABIT OF FILMING BOSS WATERS
                       ➤    ANTICIPATING A GATHERING AMMO
                       ➤    HUMILITY A PROCESS OF SOUND
                       ➤    WHAT IS AT HAND INHERES IN THE
                       ➤    YOU HAVE TO USE ITS NAME OUT LOUD
                       ➤    A STAR FLOWS OVER
                       ➤    WHAT YOU SANG TO ITS BLUR
                       ➤    ONE BULB IN SLEEP’S SOCKET WE WERE
                       ➤    I SPEAK NO SEQUENCING FLINT BUT REQUIRE
                       ➤    FUEL ENTER DAYLIGHT CUTS
                       ➤    SÉANCE THE WIRE

Let the animals believe the animals inside are
Breathing from the same horn
No more photographs of song
I don’t know who you think you are

Daniel Poppick’s debut poetry collection, The Police, is forthcoming from Omnidawn. Recent work of his has appeared or is forthcoming in The New RepublicFenceThe VoltaPrelude, Company, and elsewhere.

 Daniel Poppick and Jenny Zhang
210333642 08222017 Daniel Poppick And Jenny Zhang 01
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Originally published in

BOMB 135, Spring 2016

Featuring interviews with Ryan Trecartin, Shezad Dawood, Sadie Benning, Wendy Ewald, Trevor Paglen, Jacob Appelbaum, Ivan Vladislavić, Álvaro Enrigue, Christopher Sorrentino, Vijay Iyer, and Yorgos Lanthimos.

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