Two Poems

by F. Daniel Rzicznek


This life without you there:
the forest throwing elbows
at bare roads and rain-spit,
an eagle or two
turning in the blue, blue blue.

Miles and miles south,
factories hemorrhage evergreen smoke.

Of course the day grows dim.
I can glare at a rockpile for hours,
feel sweat collect under my cuffs
with no thought of wind,
no wind or traffic or noise.
When will you come slinking back?
What good is my world without itself?

11:26 Whistlestop

My shadow found a dry patch
in the ice heap? All this luckless blood
and the loose blare of the train
slow with anonymous crud through heart-
land deathtraps and pit stops.
You predict the body and not
my brain: willing between rails

there: sterling in the clamor of metal
halting on metal, under stars, over stones—

wheeling for the sake
of the high, hot wheeling itself.
When did the shovel spring upright,
lift me gently into confusion?
These tall cars won't be moving.

F. Daniel Rzicznek's first book of poems is Neck of the World, winner of the 2007 May Swenson Poetry Award, published by Utah State University Press. He is also the author of the chapbook Cloud Tablets (Kent State University Press, 2006). His poems have appeared in Boston Review, The New Republic, The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, AGNI, and Mississippi Review, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He currently teaches English composition at Bowling Green State University.