The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2022

All Issues
MAY 2022 Issue


Dad Jokes

So they grow,
your children—

you know how
but not when.


I was culture

before you were
nothing, before

we were nature,
some thirst come down

to light up like
neon in us.

Half Gainer (After Blake)

Sleep spread miracle deep,
I take it like an L, a red knuckle,
a group rib given away—
now cover me—and talk sparse
not to myself but to the life—
now put some static on it—
its answers from the audience,
its fresh, distorted elements,
its weight games, its every penny,
its ads for relief from ads,
its mystery’s stirrups working,
beginning to drag, beginning
to ask, “What’s not to drag?
Which way can we all go?”

Get Out

Two words
said raw

and then

a kind
of wind

or void.


Not without title, and like the first leaf from a seed,
pain points both toward and away. Its urgency escapes
interpretation, so no stage, but once upon a time,
a different tense will have insisted that I’d kill for this
tinnitus to be just your average orchestra tuning up.

Untitled Poem

As to knowing what
to do I have nothing
to say, and I’m saying it
in verse, supposedly,
like working on a scene
with a monkey, a rethought-
through saying face
down in definition (as in
Some Versions of Plastic or
a metaphor’s a simile
that fails to use “like” or “as”)
that has to seem to refer neither
to being caught without feeling
nor to merely okay relations
with the day—that’s what
these words, put together,
are after, along with being,
above all, this close to meant,
whether said to the not yet
dead or to the living,
all of whom want them
to be more like flowers,
but tough and not spasmodic
in some make-believe breeze.

Sleep Mode

Your file was not found.
It may have been moved or deleted.

Overwrite it anyway—
this is no Stygia:

guilt at having thought
that browning river unappealing.

Honky Inferno

Me, a name I call myself,
falling all over my sword.


Shit mode! Basking pose! Box mind! Dildo days!
Moral fragrance wafting over from their yard!


Couple weak-ish vodka greyhounds
and boom! peak togetherness.


Would you look at us?
These two crawling shards . . .


Graham Foust

Graham Foust’s most recent book is Embarrassments (Flood Editions, 2021). He lives in Colorado and works at the University of Denver.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2022

All Issues