Robert Balun


Spaces

there’s weather today
but it’s gotten in static

in the anxious and
suspicious

commute

the predatory

territory

violence of demarcation

I get surprised by
the angles
of the sun

of voiceprint
intensity

of wavelength
as function
and frequency
of time

I woke up

and wanted to

find you and ask

what do you
think of today

or tomorrow

here I am
with
everyone
my teeth
slowly

chipping
away

there is always

someone else
to blame

inside the restless
sleep

I remember talking

but not

a word
of what I

said

I was a part of that
city

but I forget

the way rain
dissolves

neon

passing

beside

the insectine

power

station

past

the newest

news

the point is to erase you

at home

I drink down all my yields

I listen to my neighbor

talk on his phone

looping our
one-sided

forgetting

I reach down

what am I
looking for

on the floor

I’ve got no passwords
I’ve got nothing
to hide

it’s all there

anyway

maybe if I leave
the lights on

the house will flood with bright

and I can collect
my scattering amplitudes

then tomorrow


*


Sodium Lights

does today feel like a day to you

awake but then everything

still some kind of

people talking
then dissolving

people talking

coming through

all loud and static

white noise

burning like lanterns

a name dripping
from a mouth

in deltas

of flawless blood
and jubilee

fantasy of dilated time and access

the sunny void

a few more minutes of here


*


Hello

I always get lost here

I don’t remember exactly

I remember I was there

with time

running like a script

we drank sparklers

called it celebration

looked for glories

what does it take
to feel like that

like new

like always

when I was commanding fleets

when I was steeped in victory

these are secrets

I pay the fare

I am
now
and
then

I carry me again
into the morning


*


Wavelengths

    “insist on your embrace,
    double your fury,
    create a space for damages”

       -Alejandra Pizarnik

what is the weight of a garden

or a city

what is our labor
our architecture

what is the price

who pays

the unit of the day

who could you be
without debt

without context

who will you be next season

inside the pace
inside the disembodied

palace and kingdom

I’d like to carve out an ocean
to remember our cells
once knew jellyfish

I look up from years
and find only minutes

the radio playing crickets

**

ROBERT BALUN is an adjunct at The City College of New York, where he teaches creative writing and composition. His poems have recently appeared in Prelude, Barrow Street, Poor Claudia, Apogee, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others.

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