Search View Archive



Ditch Lily


So this is my dénouement.


I meet my enemy I kick his head across the field.


I meet the foreman

and kick his head across the field.


I forge my father’s signature

on the face of the ditch lily.


I meet the ruler of life I kick her head across the field.


So this was for me in the offing. 


They say each day your war drums’ll begin me.


I’ll brush your grackle of silence

I’ll oil the wings.


I’ll limp to my basin and wash.


I did not want to draw out your leaders

by banging a trash can.


Nor congratulate you on our death.


But the dead are ongoing

they dance to American Bandstand.


And the cops are ongoing they kick handfuls of mother’s red hair in my face.


Did I murmur three centuries?


Didn’t I hang myself with a madwoman’s beard?


And this is the ditch where I terminus?


Will someone please tell me what are the four pillars.


I meet my betrothed I kick her head across the field?


I meet my boss

and kick her head across the field?


I hand you the shears

and the tyrants they line up to watch?


What if I say I’ve come for my personals.


Not on your life say the tyrants.


And the names that scroll down the black

at the end of your life.


We want to be those names they tell me.


So this is my dénouement.


This drink in my suitcase.


Do you see it?       


Frisk harder.


This drink in my suitcase is a dream I won’t have of you.

A dream you won’t have of yourself.









49 Recordings of Snow


In days as yellow as the day’s first piss is

I field what I field


like I’m fielding the question of which field won’t survive itself


& the very field


which won’t survive itself

is my questioner.


This very love in the straw I smell trying to patent me is my questioner.


This very spider’s a father

(Latin: hacklemesh weaver)


who burgles his way through the slit in my lips when I’m blackout in winter


& canine to molar



his resignation letter


& tenders his absence


addressed to the son strapped inside the cradleboard strapped to his back


is my questioner.


Spiderling of mine I’ve been to so many people I can’t say if I’ll break into again.


Quoth the weaver.


It’s nights as scared of themselves alone in a field with a man

as a man alone in a field with the night is


when the color of my love for the ones who spit on their love of my colors

I dye myself.


I crave the missing

persons stay

missing & venture

a religion in

which one is holy

if one never

letters the names.


If one never patents the very smell of the love that’s still after the rights to me.


Said Dickinson.


Doing her best Ronald Reagan’s ash heap of history speech impression.


To the lions


to the capital L


& into the history of the jaws of life she spoke this


& sewed shut

the eyes of the world which lays eggs in the eyes of the polis.


arma virumque cano, they’ll tell you.


This soldiery of horseflies who’re prisoner on the back of a hacklemesh weaver

who according to legend


will trespass into my mouth when I’m blackout mid-winter.


In days as false as the day’s first dawn is

I war what I war


like I’m warring against the question of which war lives the longest


& the very war


which won’t live the longest

is longest.


arma virumque cano, they’ll tell you.


And when they ask you what I was like don’t show them my broadaxe.










Danniel Schoonebeek

Danniel Schoonebeek is the author of American Barricade. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, Poetry, Tin House, Boston Review, Fence, BOMB, Iowa Review, jubilat, and elsewhere. He hosts the Hatchet Job reading series in Brooklyn, and edits the PEN Poetry Series. In 2015, Poor Claudia will release his second book, a travelogue called C’est la guerre.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2015

All Issues