Five Poems by Brandon Kreitler
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NOTES FOR SHELTER
the seasons of industrious weather left.
A PRIVATE RELIGION OF WIND
A loose chicken wanders in the yard of the deaf
The lawn gone dormant in the middle spans
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.
Brandon Kreitler's poems have appeared in Conjunctions, Boston Review, Spork, Indiana Review, Poor Claudia, Maggy, Cutbank, DIAGRAM, Omniverse, Vanitas, Stonecutter, West Branch, and Verse Daily, among other journals. A chapbook, Dusking, is available from Argos Books. He is the winner of a Discovery / Boston Review award and lives in New York City.