David Brennan


been to any rocking festivals lately?

played any lead guitar in your cult-favorite side project supergroup?

played any rhythm guitar in your world-famous yet critically-disparaged pop-punk band?

dropped any freestyle rhymes over the sick beats Diplo produced just for you?

I hope so

all I can offer up is domesticity: laundry, errands, dishwashing, microscopic particulates
              like breathing Beijing air, minus five years off my life force, minus ten years off
              my brain’s trending twitter feed, #shutupicantgettosleep

all night tapping my touchscreen instead of the ass I should be tapping, the skinship I
              should be a follower of

my followers wait for me to make contact

in two hands they cradle their externalized mind, waiting for me their God, waiting for
              me their gossip, waiting for me their extra-marital affair, waiting for me, devil’s
              voice, to lullaby them to bed via angry tweets of insomnia and midnight
              refrigerator binges

your sleep a carbonated speech, a transparent gaseous sphere

when you wake in the morning do you first check

gmail? f-book? pitchfork? kitchen

window? do you pull on socks and boots and head out for the road or field, note the
              autumn calf prodding mother’s udder in the neighbor farmer’s barnyard, tweet
              how the mountains look naked under a thin inch of snow, how the ruts of the dirt
              road have deepened from fat-tired tractors hauling wagons of hay?

do you squawk back at the geese winging a late V south, or stretch your legs against the
              slats of the fence that writes a musculature on the rolls and lumps of the
              overweight earth?

I hope so

musicians need to stay limber


let’s wake before the rest of the house and when we go to feed the dog lock ourselves out
on accident

the porch thermometer reads thirty-three we are stocking-footed the dog is ecstatic my
              toes already tingling I start pounding on the door to rouse the sleepyheads inside
              but you laugh and wave me off and tuck your hands inside the pockets of your
              hoodie and ease into the porch swing lips like a tailpipe puffing exhaust fogging
              your lenses and you’re like, “I’m blind and freezing, I’m going to die!” and I’m
              like, “This is super stupid,” then sit on the swing next to you

the sun rises like the howl of a desperate wolf a red-eyed monster with empty belly and
              tongue that slicks the moss on the shed roof with the easy orange saliva of the

the birds are up and just as dumb as us

I stand to check the door again the dog is running up and down the porch steps wagging
              at us like if only we would follow her she would show us the secret of a happy
              backyard existence the secret of how to be in this moment warm and content

“I’m cold,” you say and stomp off down the stairs in just your socks I’m right behind you
              in my socks

we slow step across the flagstone patio crunch into the stiff lawn that creaks and hisses
              behind us and you climb onto the wide round saucer that sits beneath the maple in
              the corner of the yard and I climb on after you and for a second we stand there

we bounce

first straight up and straight down then in tribal ritual we begin to circle alternating our
              takeoffs and landings kicking heels into our butts scissoring and touching toes
              spread-eagled and touching toes twirling 360s around and around I follow you
              and you follow me and the dog is freaking out below us around and around our
              hearts circling hot blood into the very outer reaches of our selves until my
              fingertips tingle and my toes burn and your glasses have fled your face and time is
              caught in that space between the bead of sweat breaking from the skin and the air
              meeting and freezing it

bounce till gasping we throw our hands above us as if to grasp the ledge at the top of the
              tower of pure exertion we reach high but our hands find no purchase no grip
              nothing to keep us from collapsing each into the other a hot heaving heap of
              elastic bone and giving limb


yesterday got duped into a round of some Euro-style board game, six men knee to knee
              about the round table

should have known after forty-five minutes of rules I’d been suckered, that my night
              just got offed in a hail of gang-related gunfire

should have stood up and rapped

should have waved my beer and stood on a chair and rapped the end of the world

instead I

lost a city to the marauding barbarians and built a new city nestled between mountain and
              forest on the far side of the island

alone built a city

built a fence, built a wall, and when the man with the red ponytail said in passing

good fences make good neighbors

I laughed out loud, an insane little laugh I left for dead, trapped beneath the rubble of the
              backing track composed in my head for my rap, the dubstep beats and loops and
              all-star producers and guest vocalists, the studio my chariot my spaceship littered
              with scraps of paper scribbled with my soon-to-be-famous raps, infamous raps
              riddled with references to conceptual landscapes and mathematical absolutes as
              they pertain to the female body, that body I missed more than anything as I razed
              the walls of my city, my dying, fuckless city

DAVID BRENNAN‘s poems and essays have recently appeared in Coldfront Magazine, Box of Jars, Fact-Simile, Strange Machine and elsewhere. He is the author of The White Visitation (2010) and The Family Flamboyant (2010), and writes about listening to music at 53lps.tumblr.com.

Read more by David Brennan:

Prose in Coldfront
Poems in Heavy Feather Review