back toJacket2
AT icon

This piece is about 5 printed pages long.
It is copyright © Julian T. Brolaski and Jacket magazine 2010.
See our [»»] Copyright notice.
The Internet address of this page is

Back to the A Tonalist feature Contents list

A Tonalist Poetry Feature

Julian T. Brolaski

Five poems

maybe the artist had bothered about melancholia

Who could bear to really look closely at things? Painter, Nanuchka, has near fatal accident. Trotsky arrives — how else? by night. Behind the dirty light bulb jokes, behind the mob that wills me to be weak, stands Swortfigeur. Who fought the cold urge to drown themself in the tub, where throwing vegetables was the entertainment. But this isn’t France, and I am not a renaissance person. I don’t wear the many hats or shout into wells, proclaiming my gang to the tadpoles. Soon my brain slowed, a rectangle of light showed itself from the skywell, whose fascination with the slightly open window —

far from far abuts the sea

I wish I had more of your philosophy
that is to say the ssalt shall wend away
carrying along its axis certain
facts about the sea

lack of (it)
disallows my tong
frendeschip is a kindly orb
of whuch hole theories ben interpolat

nights I rede isidore
a moraliser w/ intimate knowledges
as far as east is from the west
one craves — third noon —

discoverd a name’s
an elastic thing
one writes not so much about
as around homosexual desire

The Orphic Nude

In our past senses no sarcophagi. Aardvark do eat up experiences, weeping in front of the CEO. To jump the bones of a mummy is debatable, the nocturne shapeshifting to include less a sickle than a cycle. Whoever sells my secrets will die a flowery death, and I’m not kidding. For at least three reasons I refuse to take such a foolish memo. My favorite hyacinth, with the missus in the gutter. Phallic in overall form, labial in detail, the tearful caveman — capable of smelling colors.

new nudism

all pure honey granulates
among oneself one cd have a turn
but yelling only makes old yeller yell more

dream of driving a postal truck
w/ bad brakes down a vertiginous
precipice of moss [when formerly, out west,
I thought the postal truck was in pursuit of me]

hasselback made a face
                         ran the length of jersey
the table or the nipple wd be the same colour as befor
why is ther a prince if it can get agitated?
I must learn certain skills, like how to pour a tea w/out
                         at all spilling
you cant ask a lover to get intimate w/ a wound

I tried first the one glasses, then the other,
finally none
I think I may finally begin to see in my myopia
the sevral dirty pages
the fact that the page had ended
              staying amid lines
                             pale hesitant ink

that my glasses too needed a bath like any other appendage

I’d actually gone up in flames. of course, that’s
what a flamer does. I shat an actual figure eight.

The tears attempted to approach me at my very
writing table!

This is how blind I was at 7, at 14, at 22, at 30.

I need only to blink and my vision is improved.

              philosophy attends my wounds
    here at the hour the utmost hour

                        wher doth desir
                        I cdve ben stond
                        mor philosophie

Invocation to Spicer: similia similibus curantor

My purse, my person, my extremest means
Lie all unlock’d to your occasions.

– Antonio to Bassanio, Merchant of Venice I.i.141–142

Whatever it was, Spicer thought
he could do it. I can’t say ship
without wanting it to wreck.
My map skills
fled for an argonaut
whilst sad songs
basically bleed cash.

No-one in America is a poet
for a living, and Rome
is a city in Georgia
as well as our terrible legacy.

Like Paul Célan saying
I would regale you with snow,
magic becomes desire
on the open throes
in the mouth of spring
by a literal lake the dog
drops the tennis
ball gingerly in
constructs for it
a moat.

To what do we dare / owe
this desire?
A leaflet with its hooks.

The north and the south pole
are the points from which
all directions on earth are figured.
Jack and his dying. Between
the tropic of cancer
and the arctic circle
you were headed
for a beauty contest in Berkeley.

Your mind’s tossing on the ocean
sometime tomorrow with your ships.
Jack, can’t you see how sad songs
help when you are sad?

Julian T. Brolaski

Julian T. Brolaski

Julian T. Brolaski is the author of gowanus atropolis (forthcoming, Ugly Duckling 2010) and Advice for Lovers (forthcoming, City Lights 2011). Brolaski lives in Brooklyn where xe is an editor at Litmus Press and plays country music with The Low & the Lonesome.

Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that all material in Jacket magazine is copyright © Jacket magazine and the individual authors and copyright owners 1997–2010; it is made available here without charge for personal use only, and it may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose.