Dean Brink



Cane and Babel

While everyone is rushing in to be blond
the trick is to leave media in your ear,
ask anyone who’s let in the landscape
rising in taxable disasters,
the scent of starched horizons resets
the Jones’s little libido sent to save you
when you stretch beyond the worn orange of waiting.
Spectacular lords are only animated promotions
leaving no televised hope
to collapse in us one by one,
the shuffling of the stacked stack caves in.
Even the way I laughed at your quip
was off, off and ruining everything
you’ve ever come to, in waves only you, you
who only sought your arrival
in your failed audience,
a rhythm spreading unnaturally
as if all were always whole again,
I offer a big Hollywood zai jian.


In an earlier age immaculate wives iron sheets
and the hollowing process of laughter set in
the way gravity is devoted to erosion, monitoring
and waiting for a common penetration, not of the heart
yet sniggering at some level beyond the residual
and found most fruitful or dependably remixed,
appended to us natural as the edge of night.

Surrounding services are always on call,
whole blocks south of 38th street flagged for service,
flags decorating their homes and cars
foregoing the intricacies of generations for now
and the distance of things from each other.
Now at the cusp of our own foretold passing
the rising, warmer waters hold the earth
together like the hands of a god awash
with anger, the thick atmosphere focusing
the red sun colder and brighter,
destroying its hydrogen, while we are always waiting
as increments of out there wake us
to disperse us with more news, going in fear.

(Tacoma, 2004)

Don't Bother to Knock

There are always plenty of pictures to scroll through
and I visited your sister. Everything is my fault now—
bubblegum under an antique table, dialing a wrong number,
buying a book on inedible fungi.
Of late the food court is screwed to the floor; no more scooting closer.
Squeaky-clean could never instill say-so.
Back home a charity arrived
to remind us of the asbestos siding and lead paint.
We're suddenly surrounded by logged slopes awash in topsoil,
bramble overtaking stumps.
What had we walked in on? All the letters were left
bundled like counterfeit bills at the end of the world
without a hologram woven into a pyramid with an eye.
In the reformatory your hair was always short but standing,
now mosses under a canopy of firs
offer a mother wilderness again,
but she can't hold a candle to the old giggling
and what to do—lawns mown automatically now:
a pickup drops off a robot blindly devouring anything green.
It leaves the rest of the color wheel alone.