h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s

 

 

.........
MOLLY BRODAK



.............
ENCYCLOPEDIA


  

The dark tartan check
in Sir Walter Scott’s trousers—

if not for the tart basin peat
blanket-black in rot and needle-deep hagging,

and if not for the water flag
prominently veined mid-rib in sword shapes,

and if not for the corn crake
in chestnut and hayfield pinfeathers with meat-colored bill,

and if not for the raccoon dog
formed from chewy Ukranian toads,

and if not for the Eurasian lynxes, their hard charm,
seldom heard, walking for years unnoticed, until recognized in the stomach contents
of the Siberian Tiger,

and if not for the machairodontinae,
scimitar-toothed gape and bite strength deeply & boringly disputed,

and if not for flood-tall ice sheets eaten tiny by sun,
and an inch of tilt in the crust’s belt,

and a new pool on the Olorgesailie near where
two of the wordless group groom a symbol,

and a friendly flea field in tuft
of his great334 grandma’s fur,

and a worm addled in fungus
nipping a path to her code,

and a smudge of brain cells
dividing smaller

into harsher
eaters—

would be just plain hill-grey,
smoggy,
undifferentiated
by time.

   







...........
KIN XXII.


  

Embanked, horse-poor
bars of men sit in parlay.

A cloak and a quilt,
shred,
issue from waves.

A dice cup of islands formed from
the inundation of drumlins sits deaf.

Jar flies and horror beetles rattle hot.
Quiet. An uncatchable duck gripes,

the classic irascible duck, squat, melts into brush.
Shall we hew?

With no smithy, no oakum, pitch, rigging, bellow—
shall we hew away?

Guts gnaw. Limbs won’t lift.
One hidalgo begins noodling,

as they do.
A little kindling, rock ring,

root-ripped horse tail ropes, shirt sails, juniper oars,
maybe a pit, a dark fire, ok a skin
for bellows, and glittering, the sea blinding,
light discs and spears strobing, fire forcing down
in wind, man pissing strongly into the seafoam,
steam, sequins grit up the air, rough palm, down
downy dunes

the fire
like an idea







...........
KIN XX!!!.

  

In the waist-high inlets,

horselimbs sunning and bobbing, separate,

raft split from raft

and current peeled us into nothing.
Out of the delta, towards nothing.

The shore turned to smoke.

A palmful of raw cornmeal per palm.
Blisters pearlize and weep. Some hummed.

Our vessels, dumbass slipshod vessels
emboldened us.
The governor cut the hair rope tether,
eyes still to mine,

fend
for yourself, he spoke, and kicked our raft,

and awaying-slid

for good.

Two days passed, evil rays
passed, savages passed,

poor fishers, who fed us, towing us to shore,
and the brutes grieved for us,

us wretched, bones
countable,

the coarse brutes grieved!
Dried fish, silent lodge.
Set with sea snail shells and their sort of
pickled insides.
They wrapped us

in sable mantles.
We wept.

Strange

and bad

the land—

we cannot quit—

we cannot stay—





BIO: Molly Brodak is the author of A Little Middle of the Night (University of Iowa Press, 2010) and three chapbooks of poetry: Instructions for a Painting (GreenTower, 2007), The Flood (Coconut Books, 2013) and Essay on Parts of Day (Horse Less Press, 2014). She lives in Atlanta.






 

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