Two Poems by Andrew Durbin

BOMB 140 Summer 2017
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(Saturn parallel Pluto)

“Saturn parallel Pluto

by declination

at the degree

of the WTC attacks.

Expect major world events.”


Indefinite pleasure

in the circulation of coin,

cauterized bliss ends in perpetual wound:

All the realm is yours.

Otherwise I stand alone,

glance at the mirror

and recognize myself in absolute pink

before dissolving

in the acid of my feelings.

Child of the odds,

given to principled failure,

I paint my eyes the black of fate,

ring my lips the red of lies.

Turn the dial to the right.

It moves me.

Turn the dial to the left.

It moves you.

Or the dial sticks and I instead face

myself in the winter sun,

reorganized in the day

of the unbuilt

autostrada. I accept

the fierce light

that creeps upon my grave

in sundered rock

as it spits forth its blue flame,

convinced of

the hell that keeps me,

hung in the afterglow

of glow sticks

leftover from last night’s anniversary party. I am

taken there, willingly. Few are.

Fewer still know

they’ve arrived before it’s

too late to

resist. Lapidary customs,

a bank account at HSBC.

You are my HSBC,

I’m certain. You’ve said

enough to assuage

any residual doubt. With this

in mind I take that coin,

place it in your palm.

Do not shake your head.


rises at 6.

My Saturn returns



Untitled (in view)
For Masha

In view

of the city’s

resonant blue

before rippling summer’s

inadequately romantic mood,

he asks, “Do you

really want to fuck?” As if.

In a cash-green élan

the Brooklyn rich

cannot get rid of themselves,

or their charter schools.

For this, do not forgive them.

You, on the other hand,

are almost never yourself

at such instances, photos

of Swiss summer

with Spanish celebs,

caught in the maw

of Love’s


hung on the

jaw of

“this fair outside,

which our hearts

doth move” (P. Sidney)

and move you

to whomever you

seek to be moved to,

all things trending toward

the topic of my crush.

I can’t get over it!

By which I mean he who

catches me unawares, in July’s

cruel whip. By which I mean

he who catches me

in “grim reality’s

recurring bit,” or,

as Adam Phillips writes

in “On Frustration”:


does anybody

ever get any pleasure?

Does anybody ever get

any pleasure?

And if they do,

is it worth


Andrew Durbin is the author of Mature Themes (2014) and the forthcoming novel MacArthur Park (2017), both from Nightboat Books. He lives in New York.

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The writer on the space between poetry and prose, how fighting is like dancing, and the resonant symbolism of the idiophone.

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Part of the Theory + Practice series.

Originally published in

BOMB 140, Summer 2017

Featuring interviews with John Giorno, Lidia Yuknavitch, Iman Issa, Eric Baudelaire, Ieva Misevičiūtė, Daniel Borzutzky, and more.

Read the issue
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