Four Poems

By Hugh Behm-Steinberg 

From an end is the towards to

Friends isn’t this the good part yet there’s a
shape to it an arm light as bees pointing
have to be spotted like a father, the fingers like

you’re worth your weight: oh, motivations!
Oh keeping to yourself! Oh location the light
mist that is your name all the time, all the time

for who is asleep in your refuge, who likes it here?

Never draw back, these lovely cities, places to tour,
ease upon you telling, never keeping even though
you. How you become you by trusting you.

Save a river a doorstep a leaning back into chairs
the sounds of the such a suitable thing that got so
long were the birds in their flight seen everywhere.

Save them too declare gridded energy unfoot all
dearly and lightly formal leaving sperm everywhere
partial versions beat vaguenesses because a little.

Save the river the real is worse than no hardness in your
submarines everywhere made out of rocks save who
you want to they make great walls, and become a river.

Go under and save the river, open box, heavy air.

Keep saying no it isn’t faceted it isn’t so it
isn’t lull, it is not some application, is not
hiding, is not prayerful, like mating spiders

declaring themselves free of parasites before
they shed themselves out of just one of their
bodies they’re not warning you which one

where you’re walking to you aren’t listening
where you’re walking to your pockets aren’t
your pockets, unlaced, uncircled, louder louder

and louder some now can’t hear anything at all.

Let’s get slower, slower and slower, an eye seeing

another eye looking at the enormity, how veils got
replaced by trees so no one had to move you saying
this is one mark that just has to be made, make it with

a cup pressed down many times in ink then onto
your face all over. There’s a country where people do
that all the time, there’s a planet where these people

come from, they’ll never tell you where they’re from,
they’ll never tell so you can trust them, we only know
how to use the most basic tools, we walk step by step.


 Hugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press), as well as three Dusie chapbooks, Sorcery, Good Morning! and The Sound of Music. He is a steward in the Adjunct Faculty Union at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where for ten years he edited the journal Eleven Eleven.
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