These two poems by Dan Raphael apply imagination, vision, and intricate wordplay to anatomize a city intersection and the various openings we encounter…
by: Dan Raphael
Mirage in the Street light changing when I'm in the middle trying to decide, declaim or decline I empty my pockets and leave them there to affirm and drill or deny and harvest a cloud no wider than me and half a mile high car grills opening like lilies who missed easter when walkers and drivers trade places sidewalks impassable with free goods and throwaways neon fissures in the asphalt fruiting bodies of boarded up windows it’s called complywood, barrierrors, the signals of trafficking, porking spaces who’d rather commute than commune, impose than create my back up against the gas meter do I want a badge or a uniform an accordion arm or a clarinet throat turn the key, floor the pedal and a deluge of percussion windows can’t decide to popcorn or melt signs take wing, addresses add up and demand payment I go for my wallet but a hand’s already there
A Door of One’s Own if boxes weren’t meant to open they wouldn’t have lids as an octopus can open a screw-top jar from outside or in some people can open a bottle just by looking at it some people automatic doors won’t open for elevators without doors rooms that know how much is in them trap doors, dutch doors, doors that slide into walls look here to open if you knock you can’t come in a room with a zipper velcro instead of nails walls meant to dissolve in the summer and grow back when leaves fall doors that dare you to slam them i’ve walked past that door for decades & have no idea where it goes or that door in the wall 20 feet above the indoor swimming pool rooms for rent by the hour, day or week room for one less i’ll never see this room again a room of time, not space sometimes you keep digging cause you don’t want to go back as if no tunnel has just one end
Dan Raphael currently lives in Portland, Oregon where he has been active for decades as a poet, a performer, an editor, and a reading host. His 26th book of poetry, Out in the Wordshed, will be published this Fall by Last Word Books. He has contributed poems to Caliban, Otoliths, Yggdrasil, Basalt and Rasputin, among other notable publications.