Tuesday 5 April 2022

Five Poems by Daniel J Flosi

Even in What Cheer, Iowa they Built an Opera House

And you would never know it’s there,

unless you’ve been there,

because it’s not the type of place that is

renowned, yet, even here in the middle of these bald farms

there was a desire for the type of art and community that separates

classes. I’m driving through town, on the phone

with my wife, she’s retelling a conversation

she had with my son and cannot remember

if I was there or not. Neither can I.

We both assume I wasn’t, because I am usually lost

to the internet, or the siren song of thought.

I cut through town like a tongue through words,

lost to the scenes outside the window, lost to the enduring cycles.

Some snow has melted, slid from the hilltop,

framing a crown, or a friar’s head—

and a pair of eagles circle the sicled crop.


Lunch after the hike

And you found Boonie’s—

Soon to be world famous,

Down the street

Muscatine Bank, Est. 1870.

TV’s so loud you can’t hear

Each other speak. So you speak

With your eyes.

And your eyebrows.

Every point counts. Everything

Adds up. Your son decides to root

For the rival in the hometown bar.

Just like you once chose the rival

Of your dad’s team, and stuck

With them long into adulthood.

In the afternoon light, dust is settling

On the forehead of the yellow football

Helmet on the wall above your table.


It was the kind of night where he jumps at the
length of his own shadow,

out from behind the do I convey what I feel,

or what they feel I should feel,

kind of thoughts. So sick of consuming

this commercialism, but to get away

we'd have to drag ourselves out

into some cornfield, with our noses stuck

halfway up each other's ass,

maybe then. . ..

Just when I get to thinking no one in this

neighbourhood will remember me,

the cottonwood clap for my being here.


a certain kind of stasis devours
us, passing time waiting for dessert.

so we're out for another walk
in the church of spiny spires.

the bumblebee passes me
saying, crazy times man,

crazy times.
with flowering grasses and

arrowheads in your eyes you say,
i have a feeling

even the marrow in our bones
finds its way to the soil.

words like shovels dig
the fog, digging ‘til bedrock

of the mind. then you ask to take
some flowers home.

under the church of lacquered birch
catkins worm at our feet.

it’s in our bones you say, with flowers
firmly in your fist,

the worm of tireless habit
is in our bones.


Rust percolates everywhere:

Inside my soft belly

last year's leaves

gutter soak

The hillside turns

& turns as it chews

& chews the soft membrane

of itself

stalks of reed filled by dark

wait to explode

Daniel J Flosi sometimes thinks they are an apparition living in a half-acre coffin within the V of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers. Daniel is a poetry reader at Five South, and is the founder/EiC of Black Stone / White Stone. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Funicular Magazine, ELJ- Scissors & Spackle, Inklette, The Good Life Review, and Zero Readers and many more. Drop a line @muckermaffic

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