Brad Liening – 3 poems


Red Star

Franchised chanting summons
A few riven dead. A worldview
Stitched into an athletic shoe
Excretes a multiplex of acolytes

Eager to speak to the press.
There’s skullduggery in the nunnery
And god’s heavy indifference.
You’d feel the same way

If your brain was a red star.
To prepare dinner, first you strip
The leaves from the stem
And bring the stock to a simmer.

Half of my brain turns against
The other half. It happens fast.
It turns into sticky steam
That clings to sticky walls.

When crying in the kitchen
The afternoon is better than evening,
Less chance of catching your reflection
In the window above the sink,

The eye-killing black outside
Superseding the meaning,
The blank world on its heavy sledge.
So much space to misapprehend

As in the snowy fields broken up
By dense copses, the sky
A stained glass window
Of a martyr broken into pieces

And reassembled into a man
Pumping gas onto a pile of corpses.
The brain bubbles and skids
Into a night long with no stars.

The heart? Nobody knows anything
About the heart.




Flattened down by ashes
And humid eggs in stigmatic bandages
The guards ground to nubs grow more arms
But my remains are a tasty comeuppance
In the pangs of late empire.

It lasts another hundred thousand years
Of parasites and kick lines and soft powers
Flexing through wireless agitprop
That coats my saliva and inner hairs.
I’m not just a dead man

But nature’s done with me anyway,
One more spank with a briefcase of snakes
And nowhere to go on the wrong platform
Eyeballing the next war’s ad campaign.
All these people breathing air

What is a sane person to do?
I say words that are sucked down the tunnel
Just as a line of a dozen guts gurgle and chew.
I wrung the rent from the rafters and pulled
A muscle muscling the quivering sequel

From the quivering gray mass.
The pizza in my TV is the work
Of geniuses much younger than me.
I nibble a tiny hole and expound upon class.
Property relations in the parade

March me into a great gray clog.
Flyers fall from my copy of Faust.
I love a good glyph in gravy.
I smack through one last spank with a snake
And call the dead men from the last empire

To talk parasitic hair turkey.
They tell me nothing I remember the next morning
But suddenly I speak to you as thou and thee.
The cave sure is cold today,
A relentless gray gravy that lowers the sky

And makes me think of what I’m thinking.
What I’m thinking is dense tautology
That lowers the sky into a cold gray today.
Consumer guilt drives me to itch
A proper baby thereby pasting myself

Into the quivering gray and eggy ground,
A thing I think about when I watch TV
And heave into tiny wrong holes
To think thoughts about my thoughts
Kick lining through a parade of ashes.

Calcifying catacombs catcall the welcome
And spread a sine qua non smear,
A blotch among the last escalator lights.
O for a runway in the stigma,
One drunk shaman ordering scraps

From the disqualified boneyard
Singing songs only the blood hears.
It sounds like a layaway president moving through cold air.
It sounds like a house built by tasers
And a hunter’s orange corpse all the deer avoid.




An autumnal nocturne alerts the warblers,
Now’s not the time to come undone.
A different story for the rest of us
Singing and weeping without season,

Streaming into the broken brambles,
Faces like ripped-up jeans.
So much work to do in the void.

A modernist leaks no joy
And a library shaped pile of pudding.

So many words for one quality
Of privileged suffering, so many
Memos and oaths announcing impending winter

When all you really need is weak light
Everywhere saying it’s six o’clock
And the smell of meat in the halls.

One way to digest your life
Is to flyer the neighborhood by day
And enhance your disembodied realities at night,
Wrapping yourself in blue glows.

There’s an infinitude of options
And sign up is always free.
Some birds are more easily heard than seen
As at the counterintuitive funeral
Where you are momentarily propped up

By a song.


Brad Liening lives in Minneapolis. He is the author of Death Salad, available from Schismpress, and he can be found online here


About gobbet

gobbet is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the very best experimental poetry and prose. Intellectual perversity and explorations of dark themes are positively encouraged. We are only interested in work that is progressively experimental. We want to see risks, and we want to see them pay. No previously published work. Prose should not be longer than 1000 words. There are always exceptions. Send 3-5 poems. Include a short bio. Send submissions to Work will be published every 5-10 days. We also intend to publish anthologies of selected work published in gobbet. We will do our best to reply promptly. Most submissions will receive a decision within a month.
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