You used to collect coins, but buying money
filled your space with fireproof vaults, so better
to arrange found rocks in empty wooden bowls.
You used to hoard books, but better now write them.
This green heart, that flute, the door to the duplex
opens with a key. Where there’s breath, there’s music.
The river collects stars but rarely keeps them.
Here and There
All emotion’s essentially an incline
between bodies of light, one might consider
physics an archeology of future
theologians, though the moon views our lifetimes
through a blinking cat’s eye. Tidal bulge, oceans
lean here and there. To build a boat vast enough
to span shorelines: this is what bridgemakers dream.
In the Social Marketing meeting
I consider Jack Kerouac in
his mother’s dim kitchen, Dharma Bums,
laughing: “This orange is an illusion!”
The Call Center Supervisor’s blouse
coordinates the wall’s precise green hue.
Like ol’ Ray Smith I spent two summers
meditating shirtless in the woods.
I express no opinion, take notes.
That’s an orange in your hand, Jack. Enjoy.
Brent Goodman is the author of The Brother Swimming Beneath Me (2009 Black Lawrence Press) and Far From Sudden (2012 Black Lawrence Press). His work has been featured in Poetry, Diagram, No Tell Motel, Court Green, Rattle, Poetry, Green Mountains Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, and Zone 3, among others. He is an instructor in the Dzanc Creative Writing Sessions and an assistant editor for the online journal Anti-. www.brentgoodman.info