Deven James Philbrick

Space is the Place

Space is the place
I’ve heard it said
or sung, the Sun
of our dreams not
returning, the never
of never said coming
back, black Sun, I’ve
heard them say, we
dreamt it another way,
cracked LP on a dirty
turntable, table turned
on the Sun, black like
a (k)night of a different
ordered pair, numerically
black sky speckled with
uncountable stars, black
fugitive, rot, not the space
of the exterior, the outer
layer of experience, the ex
of expression pumping out
black ink from squid corpse,
no, the space of the silent
h in heart, bad Babylon banging
down the door to the interior,
locked with a black key, where
I and I find what they said
would be there, but it’s
unrecognizable, since it’s too
black to see, One Love in black
ink, staining the sinew and tissue
rendered invisible by shadow
cast back, to be taken aback
by one’s own shadow
is to see color for the first time
and remember the other Time,
the First Time, in whose shadow
we live our experiences,
daily and otherwise,
transcendent and otherwise,
mystical and otherunwise to that
beautiful shadowland, whatever
it is we trying to get back to.
And I hear it again.
Space is the place
I’ve come back from.
Having gone somewhere,
I release myself from that
wretched constellation in whose
grasp we’ve found ourselves
again and again and again.



Deven James Philbrick is a poet, fiction writer and scholar living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington, and is currently pursuing a PhD in English at the University of Michigan, where he focuses on the intersections of 20th century poetry and process philosophy. His writings have previously appeared in Your Impossible Voice, Another Chicago Magazine and Protean Magazine. He previously served as the prose editor of the Seattle Review.