you are in the diode archives winter 2011



What Happens Next

What happens next is most important.
One of the cats dies and I’m the dad
who postponed the vet appointment. Two
doors open. I try not to believe
in both at once. What happens next is
revised. When we slid downhill on ice
I kept the wheel aimed at her hatchback
so we’d both be equally injured.
What happens next begs a question. I
wonder which of us will leave, who’ll last.


Shmuel’s Calculations Are 11 Minutes Off

Devotional. We climb the staircase
after groceries, seven years here.
Who knew there’s an ancient Hebrew Sun
Prayer sung just once every 28th
Equinox, the Birkat HaChamah.
Ritual. Every morning naked
with you in the half bath, taking turns.
Shmuel’s calculations are 11
minutes off. Every year I miss your
body less. Meaning I feel closer.



Never learned chess. Gave up Hebrew too.
Grandma’s walls were stenciled with branches.
I ask my simple mind to explain:
how many languages do you know?
I like the smell of bacon. And you,
sharing my cologne after shower.
Satellites guide us through Steven’s Point.
All day I see fractals everywhere.
Back home among the pines, I like it
when our wildest parts are glistening.



I wake up each morning filled with blood
and a hankering for strong coffee.
There’s queers wandering the White House lawn
and a man held hostage by pirates.
Dear Baby Jesus, please do something.
It’s Sunday and the cats are crashed out.
It’s Easter and I’m sorting laundry.
I keep my prayers within my marrow,
arrive each day inside this body.
Here: some sunlight moves across the floor.


Days Within Days

Everybody owns this Kandinsky.
Squares with Concentric Rings. It’s music
he heard behind these pulsing colors.
A simple black frame, 12 more implied.
Seals killed the pirates. Three clean head shots.
Now Vermont: we could get married there.
I know you can't hear what I'm hearing.
I want to see this room differently.
Days within days, each ring imperfect.
I question the title's translation.  


Brent Goodman is the author of the chapbooks Trees Are the Slowest Rivers (1998) and Wrong Horoscope, winner of the 1999 Frank O’Hara Award. His full-length poetry collection The Brother Swimming Beneath Me (2009) was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in Poetry as well as the Thom Gunn Award. He is an assistant editor for the online journal Anti-.