Brent Goodman

COUNTERPARTS

in the other life
I weave brooms
from horsetails
and green straw
my skirt a broom
too when I dance
through the room
our uneven wood
floor a blessing
saying the earth
grows where we
plant our home
saying every boy
sprouts from mud
and every girl
carries the rain
down to the river

MISSILE TEST

There aren’t enough contrails in the sky
to draw a line to the stars, yet survivalists
build homes in sunken Patriot silos, unwrap
their meals underground. Dear Evening
News, dear Middle East on Easter, show me
the map with all my enemies in red and
my ancestors everywhere, but nowhere
for me to push a pin. Which makes me
a grateful witness, a grafted apple limb, all
blossom and burlap and just enough sun.
When the Berlin Wall finally came down
I was drunk already. Mapmakers beware:
your craft is called history, and mine
revision. In a film about The Roman Empire
I watched a continent consumed by a single
shade of green. Now the best we can thought bubble
is Star Wars shielding the heavens from
ourselves. Reports suggest the cargo
might be more than purely scientific. Which bible
should I get? I believe there to be many.

 

GOOGLE EARTH

Open the app and the world zooms
from outer space to satellite imagery
framing your house in five seconds,
grey roof like a tile in any mosaic,
gravel drive a line of grout. In Zazen
I ascend, opening the attic, up, topaz
sky, curved horizon, empty stars,
blue earth, looking down. Smartphones
might be this kind of reflection, someone
else’s mind touching our fingertips, though
never enough bars or mobile hotspots.
I understand I’m living a thousand lives
inside this lifetime, gridding the globe,
but which I knows this, if not each one,
and which poem searches for a connection
to load this blank page, so close to nowhere?

 

THE NIGHT LONGER THAN ALGEBRA 

and above the dark blue sundown
a thumbnail tear in the sky reveals
the universe is nothing but white light.
But little numbers all painted white.
And what the window frames also
always moves. I asked a bird and
the answer was algebra, and the tree
was geometry and the sickle sweep
above the horizon is growing brighter,
or has the blue now all but left us?
Gratitude is the act of greeting
every stranger as if they approached you
in dream. Or every letter the moon
tries to hand you. The curved light equations
pouring through – operators, variables,
expressions and like terms too, all pollen
on a bee’s hind legs. What the mind frames
also always moves. I asked a hive
and the answer swarmed everywhere.
To create the most realistic virtual
animation of a waterfall, imagineers employ
fractal algorithm programs. Only when you divide
water-rendered spheres to infinity by the divine
proportion does it begin to appear both
falling and rising into brilliant mist at once.

 

 —

Brent Goodman borrows a duplex from the trees and lends his shadow to every river. He is the author of Far From Sudden, The Brother Swimming Beneath Me, and two chapbooks. Most of his career involves the internet, or daydreaming.