Laynie Browne


Vice is in— advice. Inside thread is— tread, and red. Also, dear—

A mind made of drills, a tentacle audience, personal scarlet, potions of temporality

Do you squint as she approaches, toward large glass walls, carrying needle and broom, carrying music tied soundly to lack?

Will you revolve acres on paper, paste onto envelopes? Invite beams of light to kneel?

Have you ever written instructions to yourself, bereft of apprentices?

Do you remember how to singe fine power, how to turn twinge— to dawn?

How to rise up and twist threads together until they learn to cling— until— like letters you find your strand


from Indivisible

A narrative of the short-sleeper contains a swinging bed, at least one ghost pillow, loons and wind through fir. The weight of one-hundred blankets covers eyes. To reunite the bereft with sleep— goggles inset with blue light, sleep fairs, banquets and pantomimes. How to make a bed. How to speak to your internal alarm. How to address sleep theaters. Sleep as weapon. Start by turning off the light and saying your prayers. Taking off the custom of cloth and replacing it with flight. Cover your body with moths. I don’t know where this is leading.

A Dress is Never Sex

Going to get the mail         at 5028 sort of             but no gate         a dirt road and slightly pastoral
        and saw across the street             an envelope slightly buried in dirt.

I brushed it off and saw it was a letter           to me         And continued brushing off dirt         with
my cold hands become something else         determined, cold, red
sifters with their own intent        to find an entire stack of letters        buried in the dirt
          across the road.

A letter from you         one that said everything         you had not said in our last
        incarnation         and letters with foreign script         hands I did not recognize        
but half remembered       a promise with a seamed back         is how we knew
        she may have seemed alive         but couldn’t possibly have been

But not the letter from you         which wasn’t anywhere         didn’t exist      except as
        something buried         bluntly seamed      unopened         so what did it matter?

And how had these letters gotten across the street?

     The mailman apparently had placed letters on the ground instead      of in the other pretend
metal box      It had been windy      I discussed this with others having similar problems
     Mail was      decomposing as      an absent      anachronistic sacrament

Since your letters      had stopped I started ordering      things to arrive in the mail
to mollify my disappointment          I was ashamed        but still looked
     forward to parcels      mostly books of momentum    lossless dresses
also vacation and trees

I ordered some trees which never came      but a fox arrived      And reams of edible
paper      When I ordered the ancient shoes      I had seen in a museum case
     I knew I had gone too far      Still I kept the shoes      a museum
     a case of          unkempt myself in glass          velvet with
                                  glitter heels

The Last Time I Wore That Subject You Were Alive

I didn’t want to stop         I never wanted to stop           and if I read the words          you        wrote
when       you never wanted to stop          then you’d written “you’d”         when I should have written
“eye”        or, ore never wanted       to stop         what was written was a         written form, an
orientation          until the gaze runs out          so that you can’t watch

a video of interactions        your gaze is that painfully present       it’s so obvious that
        nobody sees it

But if you ever want to write again         from that period of false purity          you’d better       get

Why if it is falseness       so many ways to cover a body          alluring the dark sentences
        is nothing         really I can do it         even without any words

Laynie Browne has three new books: poetry, You Envelop Me (Omnidawn 2017), a novel, Periodic Companions (Tinderbox 2018), and short fiction, The Book of Moments (Presses universitaires de rouen et du havre 2018).
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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.

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