Daniel Owen

from Toot Sweet


spigot a form to water
oceans of grief
ill consumed in time to dance
on faces in rooms in the quiet
before speech or non-speech

we’ve all been
there before what else
what little else in the space
between light and touch
over the mountains a tourist
bears a sack of rests


from peony pink your mood turns
to 900 miles of forest

from here to Hera’s throne
of black-eyed diamonds

suspended motion slack
slap of rope on mast—talk

of deserving
bacon, feet, flowers

the future, kisses break upon
your sweet brow against

the tide time after
time embodied in a balm

what one wants to live off
and on of another’s

other heart or
from scratch Eros

a new dish
jumps over the moon

and over and over the moon
with reservations regarding

the name of the beloved
distance in miles


in the event of seeing red and brown leaves
on the trees under the overpass this
winter California counting syllables smoking
a doob from the dude in the space between
to look and see having been mined
and bled I see or think I see
such normalcy in winking eyes
parking lot yoga everything
on the curb owned
a dream or curse and outside
it looks to see this finite
ride through light debris


Phuket, let’s travel
through space holy
holy, holy, beat out the evil
with sticks and stones
hallelujah words
couldn’t hurt a fly
or burn an effigy
of Aristotle in Ephesus
an Egyptian mau holds its tongue
to a flame-broiled cheeseburger
choice meat rapt as meat can
being a love fantasy for God
prayer for all with love
which is like I forget what
or where we are you adjust the lights
in the black box heavy
as a black box filled
with laughter, jerboas hop
hop on foreign sands
hop-hop like I forget
what Phuket, let’s travel, wreathed
in snakes we’re safe
my hubris and yours
playing ticky tocky
making flippy floppy


the December fly has nothing to go
on but there it is
from the surplus infinite don’t
talk of ragged finishy things
in perpetual misnomer this
is meant by going you can
have your cake and mock
it too though you
or I and you or we
do skull and cross
drones long division while
this and that all
else again or


40 active war heads took
their first steps captured
all thin cities rung
by terror’s sweats and oaths
looked around the goat rain
for a key chain—real live
rabbit’s foot on
the line your voice made
me feel love I put
my love inside my mouth hot
sauce and fried shrimp
baguette and Bali Shag
I saw her
I love her
shift al mani
hot synth ripening love what’s
there before if
anything happens
to consume before
poverty playing
kabuki makes lockjaw glow


shank mirror don’t come
at all
all this
illusion alludes though
unicorn sick the floor is art

I’m taken with it

one more scene
I adore on the waves
from naught to this full
mess in the warm on
the couch tv light
a receipt the quiet rise
in day going
on the other end a static
terrible terrific terrified tyrannical
and traumatic dramatic couldn’t watch
I do that ghost mask pageant
again and again on
and off ’til tonight when
Jon finished his meal with a single
scoop of chocolate ice cream
we all go home all
wrought and diffuse
and strummed


just rice and salt fish the picture
of health through high impact
sophisticated squiggle dreams
of waters

starred joke arise

jack-in-the-pulpit lit morning looks
for what’s lost in the grass
of myth all my
relations off in
reflections in coffee