Dan Raphael


Enter the Canyon Running

close the door so it wont want to open again.
fondle the shingles til they sigh their own damp, 
I follow the birds til they ask "what you want"

one woman thought my hands were calloused from labor, 
another thought my hands were too big to be mine,
I leave the sixth fingers at home, gloves with thumbs in the middle
 like masonic eyes above the pyramid my body makes sinking into itself, 
walls dappled with errors & aliens, the many ways to make light digestible, 
to map a balanced diet among my 7 mouths, my single continent 
the ocean peristalses through, unscheduled lakes requiring amphibity 
and gifts for the whirlpools from bottom dwellers dreams, 
as each planet is a single catfish insatiable in its heart
when midnight is the hottest part of day we race at noon the abandoned streets 

I make an exoskeleton of tools, some family some stolen;
I have a 3rd eyes always moving, equally repulsed by pos & neg, 
winged souls that gave up radiance to taste what passes through, 
as one bird keeps challenging the mirror
					        the moon wont come when we rhyme, 
my unknown twin seeing what I cant, walking like a wind spider 
on the one percent of air that's solid.   I'd rather have hands than wings, 
I'd rather tack on gravitys suctions, where 1 minus 1 gives 3

Phototarian Moon

aware of  the dark body , a gelatin shadow 'mong lights sporadically sourced
like stars with their backs to us,   like squirrels w/ white laser eyes
occasionally a tree exhales, occasionally too many branches
for anything to fly through, not enough leaves to empty rains pockets

I smell lemon though its january
butterflies daylight at 1AM
forest of brownian dancers clothed in moss & unraveled flight

the wind speaks the cutesy voice we use for infants & kittens

how 5 inches changes everything— half a head, gravitic multiplication,
another tree without tracks, a banana skin filed with blazing butter light 
faster than its own name in a thunderstorm of adjectives
open the flesh to free the salt— last week the clouds were celibate

tomorrow begins in lush green smog
hunkering into an afternoon brown I wish my skin was
lunar radiance brining another night on the grill

Break on Through

with time at our core,    in the wind and the rain
when the sun seems to flicker
like 10,000 trumpets fueled by infinite lungs
a cornucopia of force,    a hurricane of scrubbing bubbles

run away,    shed everything,    streamline,   
open all the windows,    let the air take what it wants,
act like nothings going on out here,    no one else in this arena,
no questions,    no screams,    no whimpers    a deafening silence,    
ignore the ear pain,    the nose pain,   the fire running along your edges.
             the visceral erosion

trust nothing--    gravity,    time,   memory
every thought popping up has an agenda
nothings mine,    not even hunger and thirst,
nothing will come out right
it wont be over soon
its not a dream,   a mistake,    im not making this up 
we cant get out of the way,    find another channel,    cave it out

I stretch like fiber,    stretch through the earth and sky, 
the illusion of an opening in a vibrating string
no door to close,    no walls to stop whats next
no way to bribe it,    to negotiate,    get a delay
no ones coming to help,    no one has an answer    
a way to ease the pain,    to ge it over with 

the sunlight abrades & infects my skin, 
                dries & removes it,    slowly & clumsily
wind like a million knives on my exposed muscles & viscera
my bones would explode if they could,    run if they could 
theres no alternative   

exhale.      keep exhaling.      don't stop

Getting Some

america wakes up like a pomegranate seed with a thousand hungers
i open my throat to the columbia river without fish to jump through
without a lifetime of nuclear waste building like the first orchestra
when strings would cut before singing, when playing underwater saxophone
lead to early thought balloons with clouds too far away to read
coming down where my hair used to, a scalp like the five loneliest counties in montana.: 
we tried to house-train the sun but it never comes when called

every blue-eyed blonde in the northern hemisphere dials the same number at midnight 
crackling like a 10,000 watt wedge penetrates the slurred vocabulary of escaping what i cannot change
throwing it out the airplane then realizing i dont know how to land
an orbit that couldn't clear the rockies, so stay local, slam a pint of seeds
into a bedroom 3 feet thick w/ soil, 60 years of compost too diverse to rot 
crossbred into unsustainable complexity:
         when every morning im a different size, 
i wait til im eye to eye before i peel off the strangers clothes
becoming the face on the drivers license, the thumbprint opening an apartment
blaring music i cant stand, so many petals dissolving in so little water

i dont see tomorrow but im ready to dissect 2 years from now 
watching the plastic im wrapped in melt beyond black chemistry & a poorly maintained horizon
not to filter but avoid with highly random, the luck of the unfocussed,
when egg & sperm fuse a new micro-dimension ripples a mouthless yawn.
no one is coming for me. i'm a dozen places other than here

i go in huminskis grocery and gasp from the middle of the world's largest costco, 
as if the vatican was having a garage sale, as if the armed forces evaporated
 and left all the pentagons doors unlocked--the first things emptied were the vending machines

what digests my food wouldn't make it down columbus' gullet.
im changing territory with every step. standing on the platform of what got away. 
my body is my compartment. im in the middle seat between an over stuffed past 
and a future wearing everything it owns. 
        learning to speak the language 
while someones still listening: a word no ones thought since the 19thcentury, 
a tree built by someone whos never been above ground, never breathed wild air. 
we havent the fuel to go to space but have a surplus of shovels, claws & dynamite; 

in the future we wont plan beyond the next meal, the next storm 
and how  tonights shelter wont protect me. 
yet some hours I forget what  Im surrounded by and spread like a sleeping fire, 
a fertile moon, a glass of something the glass cant handle