The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2020

All Issues
FEB 2020 Issue



They strung her up but the knots slipped,
Too much nitrous everybody!
They wrapped her baby in this amazing robe.
You tell Caspar he’s being too white, and too nice.
“I gotta do a number X.” Oh, word, okay, hold on.
My vehicle is shit and I feel like a chump,
With my egg sandwiches. Any more
Wardrobe items for Baby, it’s gonna
Be my fists smacking your little baby face.

I will claw myself back into your trust,
Digital Doctor. Were you shocked about today?
Don’t fuck with the roommates.
Let me hear you do some more watching.
In 30,000 years they’ll just go, hey,
“Hey Hunter.” Head home for your final
Adventure. “I got sick at the Pueblo.”
“Immediately?” “Yes.” “Was the effrontery
Paved over?” “Yes, but it still smelled.”


This house is pinny, it is feeb.
Birds Ridge Oaks Dr, overrun viz. insects.
French cuisine’s ruined me to other food.
They do only—dress basic. But, major inventors,

Against a blue wall the yellow clothes look great.
Anheuser Busch is thinking about buying us. We’ve hired
The wizard’s son—who has been acting like a pussy,
While filling up electricity jars with thought commands,

“Weird.” We registered our milk in the system at the same
Time crazy. I passed my readings on to Melissa, intra-order,
Expecting to be kicked out of the experiment any second.
Wait for what I say before you start to acting credulous.

“I’m supposed to just sit on the fence of the consequences? Nokay.”
Fake him out, and take you girl to Hell.
Hide away from the SS on your apartment building’s
Scaffolding like everyone else, Ha ha ha. “Box Office!”


She flaked her outfit straight off her body,
And ran away from me like a bamboo plow,
Levitating the gridiron, tough as eggshells.
Apparently, I was dating a Changeling.

(shark enters)

All of earth could pass through that plot hole man.
You can navigate the web, if you get past the tub,
Have the beads pulled out of your asshole.
Try riding that over to Fugue Hill Plaza,

Hopefully you can, otherwise you’re lame.
As for the future after this—mothers’ll
Set it off. There I was, working the chert,
When I land on my idea for a bellows.

A thief phases in from another dimension.
Our expression? Stymied, dude. Coruscated.
Clean as can be—but inside, damned.

I keep on buying cocaine, and why not?
It certainly furnishes ya a process,
Suddenly, whoosh the baby slides out,

Beautiful baby,
But with fully-formed adult teeth.
“Hey at least it wasn’t a clay corpse.”
My stick went de adder way. “No uh.”

Which fairly accounts for these marks on you.
You did always have crazy balls for a ghost.
Any screams you made, they bode. I’m not sure
I ever completely reconciled with your soul!


Big, light-skinned cholo
I an old cloth suit,
With a turquoise tie, standing,
Mighty as a slave who’s
Choking to death on lemon juice pie.

OK I’ll go, this moon is acting dumb,
Sorry you had to stay overnight,
I know you’d rather be hugging on your kids,
Reading them incantational poetry,
Cooking for the little assholes.

Tell me where did he keep his wine jugs then?
Man, that frenzied guy. So much wine,
Everyone started jumping onto the master!
The changeling was coming back for its share.
Your farm is probably gone.

Beware—it’s safer being an invisible being.
Two hundred dollars buys a lot of corn flour.
You’ll meet me to the rear of the hotel.
At the funeral, they’ll have funerolls.
“That absolutely takes the cake.”


The long hollow is filled up with freezing water Nov-Apr,
When It creates a spectra.

The conditions out here would put keyholes in your back.
In a skirt, my body feels like it can comfortably be itself,

I can thrash around and nothing is going to happen.
We ended up spending two weeks out on Hen’s Head.

Me going out after her felt like the truth of an adage.
I simply loved getting on the rides.

The ideal fusion device—looks like a wad of chewed-up gum.
I did it as a design job but filially, I suppose I had quit.

Not even one good meal, no deal. I told her
I was sharing Chad’s treasure with my wife.

She didn’t bite—but at least I got woken up and didn’t
Have to shower and dress up for this dunce of a charity.

And don’t even get my man Tarzan started on this.
He’ll turn you into a skin bag. You had better run.


Brandon Downing

Brandon Downing’s collections of poetry include The Shirt Weapon (2002), Dark Brandon (2005), AT ME (2010) and, most recently, Mellow Actions (2013). In 2007 he released a feature-length collection of short digital films, Dark Brandon: Eternal Classics, while a monograph of his literary collages from 1996 to 2008, Lake Antiquity, was published by Fence Books in 2010. He’s recently completed a sixteen-book cycle based around Euripides’ The Bacchae. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, he has lived in New York City since 2001.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2020

All Issues