Bryan D. Price

The tree of life

Everything turned
itself out broken:
windows, curses,
cures, cymbals,

the edge
of your cheekbone—
a dumping ground
for unspeakable horrors.

Adjacent to humanism
another, more delicate,
firmament is dragged, breaks…
becoming almost nil.

Palimpsest

these translations are faithful to an old vernacular
otherwise I think I would have enjoyed reading your letters more
I keep them still to fiddle with and write over
careful not to scrape too much of the literal away
pilgrims sight land and immediately it is called paradise
no matter how disappointed we are by its proximity to bad water
and dwellings that are quite old having been lived in for eons
we chase with exactitude certain memories repeat them as all people have
with a sense of utilitarianism that conflates nature with its opposite
we come bearing trees that remind us of sleepwalkers
well exposed to the moon tidal waves fill the whole sky the limb
finally takes we breathe fire night lasts for years and then we watch
a great multitude on bicycles taking in the hellish panorama of burnt brick
we can flee no further nor stay in this place ahold of the wolf this way

Dialogues of the dead

take me on a leash to see the figure of Orion
take me to the border between wash and disembowel
take me on a rope to forgive the rope
take the rope and make it into a damnable end
a preamble to waking
to making a fetish of
like turnable handles
and gentle latches for escaping
walk me — leave me — omit me
release me from natural history
obscure me with a scrim
with muslin — with an aporia
withstand me — withdraw from me
do not alienate — abolish me

Late October

Night spreads her greenness
wet as a raincoat

across your shoulders
double-sexed and winged

like Eros green
as the sweetest acorn

oceanic green
textured with bluish hairs

a green now lost out of
memory

cell by cell
marked out of time

like waning symbols
of emphatic

difference
only ether remains

as green as Night
rising naked from Chaos

Bryan D. Price’s poetry has appeared in Diagram, Portland Review (online), Digging Through the Fat, and Grey Sparrow, among others. He lives and teaches in the suburbs of southern California where he is working on a manuscript of elegies.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom, winner of the 2017 Washington Prize, Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, New American Writing, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, Verse Daily, and VOLT.