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

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A detail of Alex Da Corte's  Die Hexe installation at Luxembourg & Dayan (photo by Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

A detail of Alex Da Corte’s Die Hexe installation at Luxembourg & Dayan (photo by Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)


See that?      That’s what’ll replace us
The medium for      an underachieving
Cartesian heart       that western civ’s
left no option beyond       Intentionality
reduced       to a pastoral canal’s Gowanus
moonshine on      the surface tension
between us and      the dismantled
biology beneath       It’s as if something
smashed       the shiver from our timbers
or at least our face       into a thousand pieces
to be reassembled      on the other side
A test run for the planet      to get through
the membrane      of courtly love bounded
by bed and breakfast      or by empiric
and rational     Not all experiments work
as when Spinoza and Leibniz      balled
out of the Monad      or Reagan answered
questions     under the helicopter rotors
he could pretend      were deafening
Once the pieces break      enough
they behave like liquid       as though
demolition        might be the answer to thirst

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Brendan Lorber is a poet, essayist, and editor. He’s the author, most recently, of Unfixed Elegy, a chapbook from Buttered Lamb Press. Since 1995 he has published and edited Lungfull! Magazine, an annual anthology of contemporary literature which prints the rough drafts of contributors’ work in addition to the final version, in order to reveal the creative process. He lives atop the tallest hill in Brooklyn, New York in a little castle across the street from a 500-acre necropolis.

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...