Five Poems by Brandon Kreitler

COMPANY EDITIONS is an independent publisher of poetry and visual art. The journal, Company, was founded in 2013 and is published three or four times per year. We will also be publishing chapbooks beginning in late 2016. Company Editions is based in Athens, GA, Iowa City, IA, and Cambridge, MA. You can contact the editors by emailing editors@companyeditions.com.

NOTES FOR SHELTER

Brandon Kreitler

First the seasons of industrious weather left.
It became easier to resist the luster that seemed
to return endlessly because it returned nothing.
An evenness of hue and temper threaded
like gauze.  I set out to build a shed in the yard.
I measured the beams, imagining great promise.
Much would be seen from its perch, much hidden
in its lone room.  Implements would be fashioned.  
Tasks were sure to issue like the inexhaustible weather.
Flecked paint and knotted wood were little hazard
to the uniformity of the model and instead showed,
if only in cursory way, the variety afforded for
within the overall conception.  I set milk in a low dish
for a level.  One must know the low point of each place.
I’m aware the condition sought may be undone in its image.
I will go on in this error, these sun-rutted days,
until it returns like a birthright of trees:
The shed now heaped palings, riven in bloom.

 




A PRIVATE RELIGION OF WIND

A loose chicken wanders in the yard of the deaf

                                                                                 school.  

The lawn gone dormant in the middle spans

                                                                                 of weather,

in the land from which you recall

                                         that you wanted something from this:

to leave the house like a knowledge and know

             in the trill of leaves that shoal and deaden

                                                                   yourself as a wake.

 




REPORT FROM THE TERRITORY

Three days I wandered in fen, in caked mud,

and came to a sunken house, what would’ve once

been called a waterhouse, its flat roof thatched

in wasted grass, and came through the thick door

into darkness and for a long time the dark didn’t leave.

I felt along the notched stone where what felt like vine grew

and came through the unadorned corridor to an opening

and in the indeterminate room found a squat bench

where I sat and lifted my feet from the mud.

Maybe a river passed under or near, if river applies.  

There were wrappers on the bench and flies swarming the oblivious dark.

Then something seemed to hang in the air, fluttering by a wall,

and came slowly to fill the room, though the fluttering wasn’t new.

There must have been an opening, where an image carried down,

and there was a mirror above the bracken water though

the bracken water was a mirror; and carried onto the wall

the day’s image, clearer now, of sun moving on reeds in wind

and the coming and going of cloud cover no longer nothing;

and though the light was low the light did not end.

I saw what I thought I saw and would have been willing to say it,

had there been someone to speak to, had I not gone on alone

in the dank air, in this place where gleam threaded through me.

I was not enough, but was not over,

and though no longer early in the mulch of years

there was nothing to know but that I would go on

in the impossible houses of light and men.

 




THE WESTERNMOST SKIRMISH OF CIVILITY

You were surprised by pleasure

and then circled it like a religion,

established boundaries not passed

out of respect for the principle

of boundaries.  This showed a commitment

to the early feeling, though dulled

endlessly what you might have loved

had it taken a form other than that

of letting you go.

 




LETTER FROM AN INSTITUTION

The far off music from an over-lit waiting room is enough

              to make me think of something

                                          but I’m not sure what.

 

When I make new words I define them

              with the old ones. They are there:

                                          squirrels in gridded foliage,

 

the daylight re-dividing the courtyard,

              though it’s never finally divided.

 

There’s no specificity, only intention toward it.

 

The plot having been largely satisfied:

              the idea of love and its exhaustion, but it’s yet

                                          to end there.

           

It's a kind of trouble and a kind of consolation,

              that it's not over, not even the meat

 

of some ginned-up story with a punch-line

              so distant it would only arrive by chance.

 

When I’m lying here un-spooled, splayed

              like children’s yarn, I can admit these problems

                                          are real, real in the way

 

the portrait in crayon is real.

              The nurse approaches like a waitress.