Nicholas Grider

Sung Backwards, that trumpet

from Fixture/zikherkeyt

that trumpet is not new, never was, predates, the Shofar print is too small, the instructions are elsewhere, he’s there too, faceless mindless brainless a brainstem and broomstick-stiff spine wrapped in meat, meaning flesh, meaning?

that trumpet has not arrived yet

sort of having to say you got what you paid for? A lot of dick-waving and he can pick you up and carry you, and he’s a lost text

you have artifacts

you’re there too


doubt class every Tuesday fine-tuning before and after

fine-tuning the air, the prime

numbers don’t matter, relationships between them flex and pulse, ribs and rib-like hair and wire and nest made of some such in April in May not in August a calendar is a Calendar is a thin blue wedge politely sloping down

thin red thread between you and the unknown, your questions, a plurality, your alternate endings

never delivered, never left breathing room, where else, where Adonai is an infinite number of infinitely tall interlinked open-frame towers, silver and crimson

where blood is, and aliyah, and then and now what, and?


against a tide of and let’s say let’s say it in plain speech and the small knots of that never arrive, the cord or sash, if there is one, never untied but rough cut

and there is one

there is rough cut and oceania and Shabbat, there is a text alive and everything in shadow, letters reliable, letters aleph-bet, letters never sent

an old song, mostly hollering

blessing and fixation ahead of a wreck, ale ale gut zayn peck,

or you have spared both carnal and carnival

fix Nick’s head

or label it blessing and drive home alone


addressed directly mishegas he owns buildings you own maybe two possibilities, three, rub them together for heat, hope you know the name of whatever blooms

the accidental

the syncopated minor third, there isn’t paper for this yet


you don’t mind a little pushing and shoving, maybe internal, maybe on Main Street, maybe in the guest bedroom “I can’t believe you’ve never done this” the acts carnal and carnival, forget the Levites save for the golden rule, Levi never even received a scrap of promised land, his tribe all dispersed priests of sacrifice, otherwise sex is

punch the clock, sit still and don’t stare,

invitations to whose future, only wander: this is your song

a tent built in high desert, a sandstorm introduction to how you don’t belong, you do, you won’t stay long, again, interface and minor thirds and wandering forty days you realize

there’s still a you, somewhere in the cement

and he’s on his own

Artist’s Statement

Sung Backwards is one section of a book-length sequence of poems and essays that explore languages old and new, from autistic communication (familiar) to Yiddish.

Nicholas Grider is the author of the experimental book Thirty Pie Charts (Gauss PDF) and the story collection Misadventure (A Strange Object), which was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor Prize. His work has appeared in Caketrain, The Collagist, Conjunctions, DIAGRAM and elsewhere.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.