Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected a poem by Sommer Browning for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

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Rue Daguerre (image via Flickr user hugovk)

3 Poems, Each Entitled “Rue Daguerre”

When I see a tree bend I feel the thick chill of a church pew cooling my ass. When I hear the clang of a flagpole I see a head, bodiless, chewing words on a screen. When I read the news I see my baby smile at what’s behind me. When I slice the onion and when I tongue a blackberry seed I slide into a wet bathing suit, when I run up the cellar steps I sing Bible songs, I cheat at cards, the city coos to its drunks at night, and the city’s shores by morning flap strips of plastic, spank the beach, Who’s your daddy is all anyone thinks, and destruction, older than regret. The pastor in the parish hall, hidden even as he shakes every hand, and the fingers, open it up and here’s the people.


The lovers pull the eggplant from its brine bath, tight placenta; above them, inky gelatin of night. The universe smaller amidst the garbage disposal, the cutting board, spirals of carrot summing the whole. Horse in the painting, your mane retreats into pigment. In the factory, melamine dreams fake a new day. In this right-to-work state you are not afraid to help sharks.


[In a painting factory]

Stamp! happy clouds Stamp! a smear of cedars Stamp! a horse Stamp! a black fence Stamp, stamp, stamp. Maybe she falls in love. Stamp! Memories are for later. Stamp! Let’s lose our value. Stamp! Let’s fall out of disuse. Stamp! Let’s depreciate Stamp! all over each other.

Joe Pan grew up along the Space Coast of Florida and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut poetry book, Autobiomythography & Gallery, was named “Best First Book of the Year” by Coldfront...

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