Daniel Blokh

How To Unroll

I do not want to write about war
or how Grandma’s sky pulls her
eyes upward.
I will write about the differences
between lilacs and lavender
and which of them is now growing in me,
spiring up the marrow like a son.

I will write a book about planting flowers.
About gardening. A book about gardening over
a dead or blooming body,
how to lay it down and pull the dirt
up, slowly, like a dress.
It will surely draw sales,
and then I will be rich
enough to write

about Grandma sitting at the bench

Grandma sitting at the bench
and gazing at the sky, expecting lilacs.


Originally published in Bottlecap Press


How to Be A 15 Year Old Poet

Anyway, might as well use it
to your advantage. Steal a house
out of a hat. Pull colors from their teeth, wake
gold in flesh, make minds fizz and eyes
tremble with unexpected neon. Dance. Carve them
with wit. Kill air. Bring your head out of the basket
when they least expect it.


How To Act in an Emergency

When you can find nowhere to run to,
          find your lungs.
Find your tongue, thrashing,

jutting like a steeple through your lips,
          and collapse it.
Glass is glass,

a window is a window,
          and anything but stillness
will only swallow you,

will coil up the tendon towers.
          Think fast.
Air is running out

of body to curl into.
          If you listen close, each flame
a whispering.

Each lung a doorway that parts
          for you. Each lung a room
with a glass window.


Originally published in Ghost City


Daniel Blokh is a 16-year-old American-Jewish writer with Russian immigrant parents, living in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of the memoir In Migration (BAM! Publishing 2016) and the chapbook Holding Myself Hostage In The Kitchen (Lit City Press 2017). His work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing awards and the Foyle Young Poet awards, and has appeared in The Kenyon Review, DIALOGIST, Permafrost, Blueshift, Cleaver, Gigantic Sequins, Forage Poetry, Avis, Thin Air, Cicada, and more.  He’s bad at taking naps. He really needs a nap right now.

Available for order at Diode Editions: