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Brent Goodman


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-.