Saturday, September 12, 2009

Brett Fletcher Lauer


Let's not speak of ravens, keyholes at twilight, subjects

immediate to observation appearing partly as a doctrine

of chance. It is unlike me to dispute what is grand.

A cloud field can herald distress, command numbers

to fragment, but the rainfall lacked compulsion, how

birds listed as unclean were birds of prey, not a model

for conduct. Every day began with trust; segments

fitted together like small bodies of animals and plants.

Arriving home a touch positioned your face upright

regardless of industrious wind. Restore me to that

then, however streaked with gloom, however riddled

through with worm and sorrow. Part of the problem

was mandatory participation, the other your radiant

neck from certain sadness, half-feelings in August,

or the will to walk many-sided. Restore me to a prior

arena beyond where this letter fills a hand mildly. There

exists no such thing as three beginnings. Earlier gestures

were vague in declaring intention, and what the echo

from the cliff responds with is a general void, minor

modifications in mood like English weather. Restore

the song its bird, bird its egg, egg to concept. This world

mirrored a wonder formerly praised until we discovered

the structure of horror in all inventions. I anticipated

otherwise, the arrangement of light on a woodland stream

to dazzle; a red fox paused on a hilltop to restore

a condition decayed. What could determine the next

question? What answer could halt the mind and its written

description from an eternity grazing on itself? What answer

could relinquish such control or once more bury it

in a hole with anything else the animals might claim?


When I hang in the air

it will be by popular

demand. There is

a contingency of people

who think loving me

is wrong. I made this

for them. I care deeply

about our republic

but I’m unsure what

to do next. I’m lonely.

Duh. Even I can learn

to endure, but can

no longer speak

for us. Your anxiety

is noted. There is

something radically wrong

in the letter I left

or else Scandinavian.

I feel my apartment

getting dirty. I make

a cup of tea. It is

an accomplishment.

Later, I’m going

to haunt everything

in this room.

Brett Fletcher Lauer is the Managing Director of the Poetry Society of America and a Poetry Editor at A Public Space. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.