brianmerrill

May 2012

Letter From the Editor:
 
Dear Readers,
 
      It is with great joy I present to you this month’s feature, my poetry colleague of whom I am most proud, Daniel Talamantes. The poems selected from this issue derive from his most recent manuscript, completed in March, upon receiving his Bachelor’s in literature and poetry. Dan’s use of the romantic vernacular and second-person sentiment provide the perfect medium for his communication of ontological musing, dream symbolism, and metaphysics. Much of his poetics strive to construct ethereal coordination, making tangible a connection between the motions of the heavens and being human.

photo by Jayme Tauzer


      Through a determination to re-connect the heart and brain, his written meditations detach voice from the politics of opinion, and freely affirm truth. His honest representation of situational subtlety within the contemporary moment offers a brilliant outlook onto a forthcoming generation of artists and writers. Daniel’s prolific creativity and endurance with words offers us the promise to see and hear his manifestations for years to come.
 
      Thank you for reading.
 
Sincerely,
The Poetry Loft
 
 
            Selected Poems
                   by Daniel Talamantes

 
            Rain at JFK
 
Rain on the
windowpanes
of a terminal.

On the wings of a jet
chemical puddles
on the runway:
urine, uranium, adamantine?

The plane doesn’t slip,
not on those oily dragon tails
that snare the runway.

Yet, not unlike fauna:
explaining danger
and hope, two wings, one
sudden angel.

 
 
            It Helps You
 
Tug of the leash, feel it, it’s not a joke.
As you march that ostrich ass of yours
downtown like a sort of loud prayer,
what are you thinking?

Are you opening the garden gate?
Your bouquet of post-modern hair
slung over your shoulder,
outrageously priced health-freak
sandwich equipped in your purse
instead of mace—what? If you
are harassed, is the next move
to sling it out like a gift, look down
at his purse and ask what he has to give?

Who is in charge of this fear of yours?
That pain you flaunt so encoded but obvious.
So entrenched it is, resident and sponsored
by your truths. It becomes the problem
human in all of us, this exposition
of self in the grand experiment.

If it’s a problem, why is it only that?
You hear pop songs in your movements
and I guess you feel okay.

But what is this pain you don’t even
ignore? Eventually it breaks you.
But you say it doesn’t matter, and
somehow finds a universal aspect.
This system of disguise I can’t help.

You don’t want that anyway,
but you sure as well find it helpful
as I watch you waddle.

 
 
Post-Insomniac and Pilots for America
 
Sleep has avoided me like a friend waiting at another terminal.
Ancient race in this blood of ours, America arrives on wings:

on the slip, mark twain, and dock the other arial boats.
Sometimes we sprint, like darkness with a destination.

Hush this locomotion just once, the legged centipede of traffic,
quiet the hum of this place’s complicated soul

and you will find that it is a creature really, despite its distractions—
full of wonder and perdition, love and expansion.

Lord, this waking has moved me like a bag.
These bones are dug up, knowing the dust of incertitude.

A stranger among strangers, the circumflex curve of my flight:
adopting the strange lights and soundings—

Insomniac in the morning, now walking Time Square,
tantalized by searches, caught in ideal cobwebs: the layover and die, you’re done.

There, imagination had been a poor clairvoyance
waiting at a terminal with all its wiggle space.

 
 
            The Fear of Waking
 
She grins and takes me somewhere
in this dream, sending through pink
new-born white pedals that make acrobatics
out of a normal street, gargantuan aromatics
out of a senseless space.

On we walk as she recites chores
in secrecy, the kind of chores than can
only exist in dreams, ones without
words or manifestation, but just mere
content and knowledge of a chore.

There isn’t time though to decipher these
hidden codes—whatever hysterical outfit
they chose this time. There is only
time to watch her every move, to search
where she ends and begins.

She begins to run faster, as I can’t move
but she is still next me, feeling
accelerated and rendering that tension.
I slowly feel the turning of consciousness
and see that these hands aren’t mine,
that it is not really her no matter
how much I love her. There this body
of mine that lies on the other side of this
impossible globe, where she is sleeping
beside me.

But what if she is not? What if I wake up
and she is not there? Or to stay with her
in this dream, knowing that touch will never
occur, nor taste, nor scent. What is really at
stake? More haunting is the realm between
this dream and waking. The only one
where I can lose her. The curtain that forbids
these places of self to ever unify.

 
 
            Solitude of Januarius
 
You are on course at the helm of the wind
proudly you march on a causeway of seas,
drafting no leaves, nor much sight attends
I serve myself as proof that you’ll be;

Or should you never return here again,
curve off south or north exist as mere myth
I would stand on my box, howl till I end
for you once were true and now I preach if;

So I stand on the cliff waiting to see.
It is true, I have no clue who you are!
Other winds have mentioned their name to me
but I remain as lonely as a star.

I wonder where you are, weaving your vines,
finishing the quilt, tugging on my spine.

 
 
            Like a Bird Misses Land
 
it is the laundry machine, suitable
generation of ghosts, fit like
peach skin over a young child,
a call into the future, licorice
scent to the pillow, pale gold
complete with rays of sun, a
pool of crystal eyes, love snare,
continental desires, or baked
smile on the other side of your
palms after touching her sunrise

it is a perishable flavor, caught in
a chance to be evergreen, chin up
or cheer up, or dislocated past
hung pearl chandelier on the cheek,
fan on when the torment creeps, light
squeeze beneath the door, midnight
pacification, an okay absolutely,
what the hell, love is not logical,
you are right, I miss you like a
bird misses land
 
 
 
 
            Twenty-First of April 2011
                   by Brian Merrill

 
This evening is not so ordinary.
Jeff is playing guitar. I’m afraid if I said anything,
I would interfere.

Tears can float downstream to my wide smile,
I wouldn’t want to interfere.
My mouth is a cotton ball, pulp: the fulfilled extract.

I haven’t felt so warm in such a while.
Kevin’s in the other room, we are so lucky to know.
My whole life I’ve been surrounded by knowers.

I cry now because I’m seeking, closing my
eyes like a warm, hooked fish –
We don’t know we’re dreaming!

To be actively calm and calmly active
is to take away the o from good, to die
momentarily, daily. To have fun is still important.

Ordinary doesn’t need to be illustrated,
needn’t force anything upon this instrumental
silence. We couldn’t interfere.

Where we could hear each other swallow –
When my room was plain, empty, beige. And we left it that way.
My watch stared back at me, blankly – with open arms.
 

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