Daniel Owen


there’s no nub in it to reflect
old friendship and a former
self — only letters over
the cloudy morning and empty
shapes among the letters trying
to meet articulation — (this eye of
the beholder instinct inside its strict
borders) — fizzy witness to last
year’s fail pill, over-the-hill custom
fate digger — year of haloes bit
of faith and bite of fig —
time passes — happy
new year — good
night moon — when
will you come again?

Another Saturday Night

fat full moon rises bright out the grove
sleepless and sweet throwing
a clay pot into the street —
que sera sera —
my unwashed teeth
snap into the shape of
your name, which calls out
to my name — who knows!?
how out in the capital tonight —
bags of confetti burst in airs of naming —
just sit there, i’ll come —
alone with the big dumb moon again
wild and furiously — accepting
the night’s untranslated insects

Jogja Proposal

i see the word shift
i see the word skin
a glow of worlds
i see the word hammer
the word wait comes
blowing into its fist
i see the word eyes
and nails grow where
there used to be forest
i see the word splint
and a head held up by tomorrow
the excitement of the snail’s chase
i see the word wait
i see the word veer
and think of my own strange fate
counting hairs on a coconut’s husk
held in a baby doll’s embrace
in the dim morning
i see the word lick and
the clouds open
chance is too great an instigator
for the words to stick
i see the word mood
i see the word owl
i see a green woodshed in the snow
i see the word soak
i see the word wait
and think perpetuity of letters
slipped into long shadows
i see the word climb
i see the word nest
i see the word amble
and the slow movement of leaves
outside of a window
i see the word glow
a lazy counterfeit desire
surfeits the waking hand
i see the word arch
i see the word cat
i see the word acme
and think door

Object City

Peg a usual wit to its procession — progress
without preservatives, a night
more real than the objects it inhabits —
it doffs its stars in
stunning summation — where the gap
‘tween sound and a built world’s
breached — pagey applause’s
silence for the poetaster
broadcasting bubbles to bubbles
in a bubble — this the city likes and the elites
of foreign investment bubble
away the bubbles, the gross chew on
handwork — who made all this stuff anyway —
legs antified or rain-caught or
waking possessed and one doesn’t
know by whom — besides, the city’s sound
is noise not a voice, content
to long for who’s not here — fat and happy
at lunch, a lonely road to bed —

Ode to Cindai Alus

Looking back at the long road
of where i’ve been —
feeling’s palimpsest, its yada yada
on the feeling prior
glossing the full page, the full meal

a single lamp drifts down the long road
and then another, and another
one by one gliding past the succulent shrub
with empty eggshells on the tips
of each of its leaves

who’s eaten these eggs?
who’s blessed to return
to the source of an intimate boredom?
the ring at the bottom of the rockpile
and the pulp beneath the print
siphon the gas from what there’s no way to know
the eye of the chain where there’s no one
to talk to and nowhere to go

Daniel Owen

Daniel Owen is the author of Toot Sweet (United Artists Books), Restaurant Samsara (Furniture Press Books), and the chapbook Authentic Other Landscape (Diez). His translation of Afrizal Malna’s Document Shredding Machine is forthcoming in 2019 from Reading Sideways Press. His writing has appeared in Hyperallergic, The Brooklyn Rail, The Fanzine, Vestiges, and elsewhere. He is a member of the Ugly Duckling Presse editorial collective and lives between Brooklyn and Yogyakarta.