Tyler Flynn Dorholt


The small window rattles
I feel everything tied to my arms
the arch that collects shadows
even in the night
I put on a charge of hope
the house you turn the edges of
in your remains
when you are finished
gesturing toward demise
the letters we leave
the cornfield season
for the middle linger
to step it up belong to the others
you share with ache
and rural into the world
a fasted hear I don’t ride
the world I won’t leave
the window I cannot see
flattened water arriving
giving news to you and your box
passing to a loud nobody
how scattered the changing
plants that reason everything
antique kept us young here
where I’m taking the screen off
and how open the heart
I first attached to the river.


Too often the bodies
like coins
roll down Jane street
as if to slot something sane
aside the main lanes.
Some gutter some swerve.
I think of Philip’s veins
as he lined them up, widening
the blood to rise above character.
It is always the fire escape
which lets me rely on others
to relieve my ruins, all the cigarettes
flecked from the second floor,
the ashes stored below soles,
the armors of flame.
Who knows what side
of myself is shelved in the small elm
outside the tiny apartment
or how many times I said the name
of a body before the street climaxed
between bricks who wants to
know I don’t know. To say a street
runs anywhere is to forget
it must connect and adjust
our movements, not take off
from them or maybe
a person is not a number
but I ran all seven miles
starting from Jane, ending at Wall St.
before the cab took me down.
This is to second
the notion we work in many ways.
Philip’s eyes open right before
he dies and he finds a building
he’s never seen
growing behind a building
he’s never been in
and it flows yellow
he wants a lemon
and the building he’s in will be
rebuilt using the weight
of his death. A woman
walks by and touches
the window near
the croissant.
A singer downs a burger
where Dylan sang
about Emmett Till.
These are just references,
though they hang alive
in the street
running itself down.
I was silent that entire
Thanksgiving weekend
writing about becoming
someone else. I walked back
and forth on the street
it was so small
of the street to think big things of me
in the reflections of doors
in the wind-trapped porn of wine labels
and laundry groped by others
for the bag. When I look at
what I’ve seen
the scene is always
there was a corner
and the motorcycle
hit her perfectly
so that her knees buckled, clipped,
and she bounced off the sign
that said yield.
I touched the gravel
the next day, my finger
on maroon, then said
my first words in days:
I can’t believe
we’ve never talked
about life. The street
returns to me as if the arm
of what I am, undone,
and I hold it up to hail a hello
to the space Philip leaned
against himself
that time
that one time
I saw his body
and all the characters
it has been taking up
the whole of Jane
and running
it off
the Hudson.

Tyler Flynn Dorholt is a writer, visual artist, and teacher. His most recent books are Side Cars & Road Sides (Greying Ghost) and American Flowers (Dock Street Press). He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at the College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse, NY, where he lives with his wife and son. He is co-founder and editor of the journal and press, Tammy, which is entering its tenth year of publishing.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , by Posit Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) 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.