THERMOS 9: Dan Rosenberg

Today’s new poems from THERMOS #9 — 8 of them from Dan Rosenberg! Dan, who co-edits Transom with Kiki Petrosino, is a dear friend of THERMOS, and we’ve published poems of his previously to these. He lives in Athens (Georgia, sadly), where he’s completing a Ph.D. You can purchase his first book of poems, The Crushing Organ, from Dream Horse Press.


The lawnmower rears back,

blades a fake circle. Damp
grasses launch a halo.
The white dog marks

a perimeter for the mailman
sailing about with shades
like gold coins. Two spiders

in a wind-tossed web hold on.

The Carriage

spokes spin, turn
a walk to stop-

baby steps up
his hand in the wheel

the body’s a reason
a riot
from work

missing a purpose
beyond? who

Ad Hominem

This house is always
losing to the lawn.

Grass watches me be
foolish with garden shears
and foolish upon a trowel.

Mostly I’m present
as periphery.
Sometimes though

the network slips.
A stumble the producer
overlooks, and I fail

to perform my skin,
a bodily laughter

never quite breaching
from a subject
to a person.


The passive entrance
to the body politic

collapsed. A door knocked
from its hinges

Oh they were rotten, we say,
and past the threshold

a carpet lolls in spittle.
Step into the squish

like a newborn
backing up. And

past the threshold
we feel the disconnect.


         O hack
the planet’s bitter
core open,
         the light
drinks deep,
the elemental
         a realm,
plants tuck
away the sun,
the primary work:
a scrotum
to the atoms,
         to our hard
we offer packets
         of desire:
we’ll burn
to keep it


When recovery happens
I’m diminished
like city fog blown.

I creep. My face
dissolves in a fit
of population.

Some commuters
survive. Faced with
what’s peopled, I breathe
into a blunt ache.


When the basement
neighbor’s TV calls up,

an anchor’s
rusty chain, you

rattle in it all night,

sad little ghost
when you think

yourself awake.

Default Swap

A deer kicks. Can’t take
another summer fire. Scrub
my ear to the floor

of the pool. This
is rest. I float so low.
We’re far too smooth

to rustle and thump.
Heavy sun. And what
endless drying under.


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