The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2015

All Issues
MAR 2015 Issue




It should be for everyone, of course,
like a bridge or an island
in the city for some green
to grow on is for everyone, not
an apartment complex or a villa
in the hills with its trained distance.
Everyone like a mailperson
delivers to everyone and like
everyone loves rain or snow
on the tongue at least once
and then is forever lost
in the finding of that tending
to.  It should be an open door
or, better yet, an archway,
not a conduit for kings
and their flowing trains
(how they weave and twist
around a corridor or country)
but a reclaimed space wide
and full of promise, old
and true. Deep sediment,
the buried layers, the cave
drawings, the origin dreams
of thinking.  It should be new
too, forever changing in that
impulse that serves to shape
the shift, not only prepare (how
awful a thought – to prepare
as in to tolerate or to only go
this far), not only reality check
minds that are ready for all
of this and, necessarily, more.










First brunch,
bromance, then

O no!
2 separate

ments, (suit)

cases of something
but in two

but something
in tu

that’s so beautiful
opens up

like a flow (a river)
er is the idea

, she said
as the man

made of water
the man now with

the idea – not finally
running away from it

but slanding in it
(or slianding, lalipping)

blending like bleen
wading a while –

breaking luggage

like language
and love.










Your dearest points it out to you some three or four
Years ago, or was it a dozen, you cannot recall now
After the nearest lightning strike you’ve experienced
And cloud after ever growing cloud and some thunder
Subside into finally temporary cooler weather.

When you were younger and the sharp divide
Between what you will remember and what you won’t
Want to no matter how hard you try was as clear
As an open window, you soared into these days like a hero
In pursuit of what was on the eternal other side,

Which is to say you did not and could not die, never
No way sir.  You were going to track that ball down
If it meant running the circumference of the world
And time itself, reverse the inertia of history because
There were things worth diving for, reaching for.

And now the clarity of the sky intimates nothing
But the possibility of deeper breaths and friends
who may also be experiencing this new leveling.
On the other side of a country or a muted screen,
You cannot decide which, is an infinite platitude

Called transition, which is just about everything
When extended towards the air or any other
Temporary flightless thing like the urge to be
More than what one is, the urge to make more
Than what one has made of a summer or a life.










Alan Semerdjian

Writer, musician, and educator Alan Semerdjian’s poems and essays have appeared in over fifty print and online publications and anthologies including Adbusters, Diagram, and Ararat. He released a chapbook of poems called An Improvised Device (Lock n Load Press) in 2005 and his first full-length book In the Architecture of Bone (GenPop Books) in 2009. His songs, which Relix magazine has described as having and "impressive contemporary, textured songs, and poetic lyrics," have appeared in television and film and charted on CMJ. He earned his MFA at Goddard College in 2002 and currently teaches English at Herricks High School in New Hyde Park, NY. Alan resides in New York City’s East Village.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2015

All Issues