Darren Demaree

The Museum Is Free on Sundays

Woozy in the blue breeze,

I found the bastard’s conduit
in the sponsorship

& the naming
of the sponsorship
after capitalism’s dead wife.

Look! The tethers have
all been cut
& the rope-makers
have decided to frame

the performance
while they drown us in
oceans of rope. The rupture
must, but I refuse to trade
one day for six. That shit has

only ever given us thresholds
& doors & gods
& slavery. We sail only
because there is wind
& a moon. We create thickness
as a dance to encourage

a proper rubbing. If fire comes
don’t trap it in a building.
Let it burn like a beast
with no plan. I am only
for the art that routes us
through their melting fat.
I am only for the naming

that removes the distance
between the rabbit’s breath
& the rabbit’s flight. Follow
me to the fields. The real
fuckery is done hiding
& it’s free & free & free
& free & free & free & free.



a poem for my friend steve kowalski days before his first child is born

we both know
the taste of the flare
before it’s lit

& what to do
when the next-on
obliges the passed-on

let’s say
we’re persistent
let’s say

we’re willing
to give up
the world

to the hands
we don’t know yet
& that’s

how we get
to run away
towards untouchable

waters tides
that refuse to tide
a large fleshy hand

lit as a candle
& soft as a candle
in all three stages

bare rendered bare
& yet afraid
only of oldness

only of the cathedrals
we left behind
after we knew

hymns can only be
hymns when the singer
knows their throat

is meant to close
tightly around the belief
that the oxygen

is a religion unto itself
that breathing in the dark
is as simple as breathing

in the light
& no one gets to keep
anything at all

so we give a threshold
to a threshold
& we invite

a way of life
that can bury us
as we always dreamed

ungently loved stirred
forever a gully
as a gift

a new place revealed
where before there was
only a man



Emily as the Free Play of Beauty

Call it what you will,
but under the arch of Emily,
I’m in an orchard

slipping on the fruit
we love to throw
at each other. Damn straight

we have no intention
of cleaning any of this up.
Our mess is the whole point.



Darren Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming in numerous magazines/journals, including Hotel Amerika, North American Review, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review. He is the author of twenty-one poetry collections, most recently in defense of the goat that continues to wander towards the certain doom of the cliff (February 2024, April Gloaming Publishing). He is the Editor in Chief of the Best of the Net Anthology and Managing Editor of Ovenbird Poetry. He currently lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and children.