The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2018

All Issues
MAR 2018 Issue

The New Goldfish


she doesn’t recognize
the new goldfish
so much as swallow with her eye

having scanned its contours and found they were the mirror image of some
comfortable place in her brain whose own
contours matched

a certain tone
the precision lining clouds in a world whose

tone is spoken just that way
and heard as well as that, as red

as red is how she understood her objects
as integral to the world





at the end, we were attracted to the borders of our private globes
horizontal sketches of the shore matched vertical articulations of our
atmosphere from space, and together, flat instructions for a deeper
transcendental plan.

we had some motivation, a common red articulating eyelids
told us so, daybreak the same from everywhere except
the dawn itself, a dustiness non-predatory beings can’t withstand.

we hurled stones into a well and years later heard them thrown back up
to us for our diversion, from where we source our information
and heard their echo as the distance first surmised.





the goldfish
is best experienced
around a household

light or sour thought
the dead can think
to hold concordant

spasms in the air
and when they speak
voices fit within

campaigns meant
to silence them
and people doubt

that others walk
engrossed by fractures
in the closet of what’s

lived or what’s rehearsed
vernal nutrients
masked invisibly by





time for safeguard
and gravity relinquishing
its broad domain

to this specific
rising snow
remains secure

the law is picture book
revealed by little
halves emitting glitch

and perspiration
on a sentimental

that’s how
unlike we are
like vinegar





the rocks were steady, a language of diplomacy
commended for indifference to indifferent shades
and swollen on the day’s adjacent continent
before its prism canceled undergrowth.

what is this new kind of living for
pebbles roll across the beach as current sound

was all i wrote, i felt belated writing you behind a wall
of decimals, tide ground smooth, fluid assault
immersed in throat above the larger palate

of beach’s scale, but not their own.
back then was simple

very little was a matter of the weather
and doing nothing was the point

of exhalation so
i felt belated writing you
was all i wrote





life sits in front of her eye like a carrot. especially when she wakes up in the morning to admit it. and to grasp a season full of options in that field is to grasp the generative principle of what may lie outside— someone else, complete with blood.





and mother cries
not for a baby

but the tantrum
he’s become

oh beautiful boy
emasculated in a process

without notice
now as poem

of the goldfish bowl
its depth prospected

however drifting past
further radiance in time

invisible as glass in ice
or simply water




Spencer Everett

Spencer Everett lives in New York City


The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2018

All Issues