Dennis Hinrichsen


a man sings as he walks—looking human—with ideas
                     in him
          so I take him from that world—

          place him
in the bell of my brain—tongue the clapper—
                     let him distill

                     like a whiskey
          in fatty loops and chambers—a double

now that I’ve walked away—let him boil awhile—
          compounds here—

          better heart—
I can utter something pithy about loneliness—
                     how clean

                     it is—
          like the inside of a poem—all glass there—
I wonder—am I audience

or just projecting crude ambient cellular noise—
          private cinemas—

          the bike he has he walks—
it is early spring—
                     puddles here and there—both his

                     by some measure
          of ownership—
I think he’s poor—one of the invisibles—

an economic pump between where he lives
                     and liquor store—
          bus station—

          city park—
where he congregates and choruses
                     there are so many homeless

                     some days
          despite the chill—already I’ve gone too far—
forgive me—

I have imagination and a heated seat—
          I too am just another needle stuck in a groove—

          black vinyl disc of city—
old school longing—
                     analog—since I could stop the car

                     and do that Whitman thing—
          give him money—
it could be the man I spent an hour with

when it was warm
                     and his city could rub its edge
          against my city—

          but it’s hard to tell—he’s so bundled up—
and now a distillation—
                     the third—

                    I think the bike may be stolen—
          the front tire looks flat—
the bike is useless—

he needs the money—there is already a snarl
                     of used ones
          outside Dicker and Deal—

lost ponies—strange optics since the wheels
                     look like lenses sometimes—

                     but that could be a horse too—
          since a pony
is a way of envisioning world as a car is not—

          the windshield is not a lens—
it does not clarify—
                     the vapor inside is not the sweet liqueur

                     of thinking—it just seems that way
          sometimes—I’m local—
I see many other locals and wonder about their lives—

know up ahead
                     there is a railroad track—
          sprung moorings—I will have to swerve around



Dennis Hinrichsen’s, tenth book of poems, Flesh-plastique, is out this March from Green Linden Press. He has poems appearing or forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Glacier, Ninth Letter, The Pedestal, Posit, RHINO, Timber and Witness. He lives in Lansing, Michigan where he workshops with local writers.