Hugh Behm-Steinberg

From an end is the towards to


No business is the silent business, nodding unreliably so you
appear again. Or be someone else a horse inside yourself, you
have to be kind to the devil he’s in the next house

there’s crocodiles in his hair, he has enemies.
Counting every never come again, the same as being
late you just never stay. The next door devil thinks time

put a spell on you, put a spell on you, that you’re the devil,
no matter how nice you are, how you appear in the darkness
with moths haloing you, the more you try to persuade him, he

praises your silver mouth, you should sing some more like that.


Skittering watchfulness, of being noticed
so elided. As too small, really small, to count
eight lines in the woodgrain tabletop.

They’re there they’re never the same: all they do is
branch, one part out of another the record of it, not
the event itself: why waste your time being specific

it only multiplies the ways you could be wrong.

It’s a problem, blown off and over caulked like
nothing wet is ever going to get in that nest of you
which is never a nest, never a nest, never your home.


Closed and queenly fields all in one color set
against other wild spaces, finding it easy to stay
rattling the best birds check you out, the way

you clang like someone replaced all your plastic parts.
Once you turned twenty-seven you decided to be a lawn
where all birds are welcome ok ok ok you figured out

how to divide your life into little slots one bird long

to feed upon, nuts, science, the gorgeous land,
pavilions representing the gorgeous land, as it’s
terminal so never meaning what could be around.

Hugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press), as well as three Dusie chapbooks, Sorcery, Good Morning! and The Sound of Music. Poems from an end is the towards to have appeared in or are forthcoming in such places as Sporklet, Otoliths, Interim, Under a Warm Green Linden, E-Ratio and Word/forWord, among others. A new collection of prose poems and microfiction, Animal Children, is forthcoming from Nomadic Press in the Fall of 2019. He’s chief steward of the Adjunct Faculty Union at California College of the Arts, where for ten years he edited the journal Eleven Eleven.
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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.