Dan Raphael – 2 poems


This Whole Continent’s Ours

no one’s legal
no one’s naked
no one can eat that much

careful what river you try to stomp flat
as the wings inside a mound of hesitation
when the car’s impatient to run out of gas
to go beyond electricity & close enough to the oily starless sky
flaming fingers lighting cigarettes no one smokes

as a mirror opens like a venetian blind
and closes into two large eyes
hungry without mouth, teeth, or breathing

how this frying pan could be a form of transportation
a pharmaceutical tongue twisting
waiting for the room to dissolve in dry thirsty ash
where dry leaves conquer anarchic mud-swings
satellite mattresses with nothing flat to orbit
the shape of the lake on my upturned sole

why every time the elevator doors open it’s a beautiful forest
i cant step in or smell, hearing a childhood bird
when i grasp the door knob’s an affirmative action without consent,
nostrils spreading like reservoirs

perfect car doors waiting for a reason to incandesce
parked five feet under a frothing tide, retinas swelling
when the monitors refuse to deliver anything—
what can we bring them, draw for them on newly thickened air

as if anyone could pour blood without spilling any
reversing the proportion of V8 to vodka, cubes of frozen opium,
stir-stick antenna, the lime is recording everything,
that wasn’t my receipt I just signed—already doors are opening,
a large man in riot gear beckons me to join him



Mid-Winter Wake-Up in an Unknown City

I only feel the moment, not the average or the accumulation
how many clouds in a corral
how many unnecessary fences
travelling to the outer rings
numbers always aware of the numbers inside them
an address on a matchbook, a pocket about to vibrate

When i look out the window and can’t read the signs 
a fog of highly random densities
getting to a conclusion before it gets to you
page 79 is a paper mirror

I know someone’s right behind me
but on a traffic island, not in my kitchen
whose walls all appear to be blocks away
no cats, only 5 foot tall shadows of cats

No matter how long i squeeze my hand in a fist
nothing appears inside but odor & uncertainty.
i kneaded the dough for several minutes before i realized it was beef

Rain so hard & windy sounds like dozens of toilets
flushing in random syncopation, volunteering to be next
i confuse the sound of frying bacon with a busy dishwasher

Be calm, be palm, all arm, leg gel
the face café, soup that’s still moving—
will the noodle blossom or continue hibernating

Combining levitation with an australian crawl
tasting the air as i rise, dispersing the myth of consistency,
celebrating the diversity of atmosphere no one owns or maintains
free range emissions, prospecting with magnets
& antennas predictable as cat tails

Clouds at the speed of light, wind at the speed of rush hour
if the river had a median strip in the middle, who’d notice
or how the tall buildings crowning the bowl of this city
form a steel- and glass- jawed trap, so many bright & fragrant baits



For three decades Dan Raphael’s been active in the Northwest as poet, performer, editor and reading host. Everyone in This Movie Gets Paid, a poetry collection, was published June of ’16 by Last Word Press. Current poems appear in Caliban, Blackbox Manifold, Rasputin, Curly Mind and Otoliths. Dan is  currently prose editor of Unlikely Stories Mark V, and writes and records a weekly news poem for KBOO-FM.



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 gobbetmag@hotmail.co.uk 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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