One With the Wind ||| Cleaver

for Tom Devaney

On the eve     of never forgetting     I still
want to run away     from you together     or
not run     but bite or register     bionic judgment
always there     to be crushed by     unblinking
jacked     and futuristic     Some trees are easier
to climb than others     Ailanthus for example
with a ladder leaned up against it     or a poplar
that’s been used to make a staircase     From up
here     the subjective experience     is but a fading
metonymy     and now     to me at least     it’s gone

Under entropy     even better entropy     impatient
for flow charts     with a wicked jaw     already
I am not     permitted to believe     my own ideas
but nod     a little     as I say them     so others
concur     and say it back     tainted with the real

The real lyrics     are always somewhere     under
the words     the way the night gets     out of the past
or pushed around     by the mere concept     of
morning     And the scary thoughts     you flee from
you mostly flee as     A kind of professional courtesy
towards oblivion     and reciprocity for     old
sayings like     you have to send a letter     to get one
especially     if you send the letter     to yourself


Over two decades in the making, Brendan Lorber’s first full-length book is coming out this spring. It’s called If this is paradise why are we still driving? He’s also written several chapbooks, most recently Unfixed Elegy and Other Poems (Butterlamb) He’s had work in the American Poetry Review, Fence, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. Since 1995, he has published and edited Lungfull! Magazine, an annual anthology of contemporary literature that prints the rough drafts of contributors’ work in addition to the final versions in order to reveal the creative process. He lives atop the tallest hill in Brooklyn, New York, in a little castle across the street from a five-hundred-acre necropolis.

One With the Wind” appeared in Cleaver Magazine: Issue 20 in December of 2017.

Look for new work from Brendan Lorber in TLR: Chemistry, the all-poetry issue, due out later this month.