Dennis Hinrichsen

[I Thought My Marauding Days Were Over]

“Plummeting sperm counts, shrinking penises: toxic chemicals
threaten humanity”
—Erin Brockovich, The Guardian (March 18, 2021)

Björk sings to keep me awake // to let me know I belong beneath
the lava field the sky is now—so many hot orange zones—I feel I am
besieged by end times // a toxic forever chemical kind of feeling
I have touched so much product since I’ve arisen I must’ve eaten
some harm down to the groin where sperm is dying—
I’ve had that cancer—the chords are cut—still—the reactor burns—I
am sarcophagus // but I don’t worry the half-life because they are better
than plutonium and Jesus—the fluoropolymers—they do not break
down // I ingest by pan (dearest Teflon™) // by clothing and pizza box //
—O dear beautiful lonely alternate selves—O dying human race—
I learned today we are nearly one half Viking so I know we still maraud
interior coasts of the body because we are dressed for it—
the gold there ours (always)—by liver—by blood—by thyroid—
our horned and fearless daring burning away in snowflake Vahallas

[be] [held]

—had my ass pinched in Ybor City once—it was Mardi

Gras—the other one—but still a question lingered—was I body delectable?
a cinematic lie because in the film of this (the poem) it won’t be me wearing

those camo cargo pants—it won’t be my hair—linen shirt rolled sloppily
at the sleeves—but someone taller tanner blonder—modestly

ripped—with perfect teeth
(my life so boring I have to put it in parentheses

to get it right—going out for milk—playing hide-n-seek with the cat
who is dead now these last four years—I don’t even purr anymore

at what I know is not her shadow but an orphan sock—the real motif
indicating deadening time—the Dalí corrosive

body can tell you that—body with its failing gridwork—body just another
burning shell—I can’t stand this anymore—this being alone—

invisible—untouched—so—cut!—next scene…)
camo pants again—

desert sand—I’m in New York City now—on a blocked-off street
as Gay Pride motors by—gym shorts and blasting Harleys—

when one of the Colombian dancers breaks free as if from a flock
of scarlet macaws and runs to where I’m standing—

cinéma vérité this time—
Naked City vibe—I had the ass I had the stance—and touches my arm then puts

his lips—I was beheld—to this pliant cheek

[mosaic] [Self-portrait as Whitman’s 29th Bather] [with Killing Clothes and a Hammer]

sees world—desires world—that’s the substrate vector—why
deny it // beautiful boy bodies—like all things—glistening
with wet // the little streams all over their skin
just as easily the lithe sheer of waists—sledge
and massive arms—our looking too then a hammering //
we environ the anvil—hand and brain wanting it all—
the repartee and titillations—cloud scuff—purr
of river // the secular spiritual foreplay descending—
trembling—being acted upon // this body (debris)
a mosaic (I am dying)—white belly open to unswept floor //
here—the last frenetic eating—at time—and at the edges
of time—the systemic failures—hunger and money // there—
my richness defined by what I so casually (carelessly)
throw toward you—world—the adored—throwing this love away

[called back]

inscription on E.D.’s grave

“Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday Glacier’ Could Meet its Doom
within 3 Years,” by Mindy Weisberger (

I’m taking a piss in a·mrst near Dickinson’s grave—maybe Concord—
Thoreau’s—I can’t recall (we put in there once—Ripple and I—we were
canoeing—and irrigated some corn)—and if this is just the brain
in meltdown—another functional nightmare—it’s okay—you have to kill
all the gods to keep on moving—even if it’s just yourself—your super power
metaphysical rage with nowhere to go so it just squats inside the minutes
where dark matter really resides—mad eyes some days—wild hair
calling you forth // —O Barber-gods where are you now to trim and groom me
so I can be pretty again—a magnetic field finally with somewhere to go—
a thing still to be—even if it’s just a river in Massachusetts—that I can
believe in—or a sky with jets still in it—there’s a military base nearby—we’re
walking—Ripple and I—always walking—letting sounds wash over us—winged
knives laser and glide—until one of us has to piss again—sense of what is glacial
in us—our reconnaissance—dear friends—coming your way—letting go

[readymade] [With an iPhone in It and Two
or Three Plums]

lonely I am reading phone—lonely I will be—these nickel reels
that thrill as they unspool—

wishing I was there (I am not)—
wishing I had drink in hand (I do not)—

spooning out an avocado—heating beans—I am preparing
lunch now—last night’s dishes stacked—

ticking like a readymade
so that as I retrieve a fork it is an exercise in terror (domestic)

I set against this other terror—complicity—
shirt Sri Lankan—pants Vietnamese—

the one or two women
from among the millions toiling on my behalf

muttering names under their

names—mine again—their sweat and tears
falling into the fabrics (I love buying shirts)—

smell of their hands…
I am squeezing a wedge of lime now—grating garlic.

There is a moment I would like
to share—it is a memory—

initially mine—but now surveilled—consumed.
It concerns a friend I love—he is failing—

death is in him like a leaf—or paddle into a river—
one heron angling crosswise.

He saw this once—shallows to deeper shallows—
and was moved by it—

and so I will pause here now (hearing voices) (reliving joy)—
obliterating all my coolness

the piecework bits of my barely manageable brand.

I know—laughable—but I do make choices—possess
consciousness—I get dressed

in the morning—desire touch…

screenshot— I am walking now

with avocado waste to backyard compost—building soil.
I will throw some clippings on it.

I must be godly mixing earth and spirit—
micro arcs in the metaphysical wheel—

the hammering tongues of all the worms (i.e., the truer gods)
just another bag of hammers—blind—

as text is blind—they cannot see through to me—
I am lure—I am rafter and nail—

I POST—husk of light eating light

in digital self-obituary—
body like a shingle pegged to a falling down wall of time—spirit

in the analog flux of it—this stroll to the house—muttering
words at a tree—repeating them later—they have

resonance—they are like plums in the mouth—plums spirit will never share


Dennis Hinrichsen’s tenth book of poetry, Flesh-plastique, will appear from Green Linden Press in March 2023. His awards include the Wishing Jewel Prize from Green Linden Press for schema geometrica, as well as the Grid, Michael Waters, Tampa, Field, and Akron Poetry Prizes for earlier collections. He lives in Lansing, Michigan, where he served as the area’s first Poet Laureate.
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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.