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Issue 4.2

Summer 2024

dan raphael


Most of my poems start with sparks. Language energy has been building up, I’m often playing with/transforming words. “Another Time” was sparked by the word gnomon—I’d seen it, probably used it, but wasn’t exactly clear. And the poem poured out from there, making associational and situational leaps. Various ways we use the word "time." Time emits. This language happens, I am pleased and puzzled. Part of my editing process is taking out the extraneous—what is language doing here, playing here (in a musical sense as well)? But the language must come through me, and I am immersed and trying to make sense of this “real” world.

Another Time


walk around me, as if I’m the gnomon in a sundial

almost vertiginous in the slow spin of flashbulbs, tangential headlights,

metallic teeth, barrel hoops repurposed as belts that metal detectors

have no authority over


                                           we now only check passengers

when they get off the plane, with a certain percentage

sent back to their seats wherever the plane is going next

shedding skin like a snake that swallowed what it couldn’t digest

falling asleep in Arizona and waking up in Manitoba

which from space has terrible acne from lakes and open pits

of searching for a shortcut to equator or sea


                                                                               too much water

and just enough heat to convince us solstice has passed

but the sun has split into 4, no 16, requiring a solar zodiac

as clock numbers are replaced with animals from different time zones

in an attempt to be universal before a couple hours go extinct


so many times to choose from—meal time, stop time, standing still

it’s not time that passes but people, with creation and “best if used by” dates

hidden, totally ignoring experience and learning, that organic chemicals

are complex and curious, some yearning for efficiency some just bored,

molecules getting lost in themselves, sometimes blinded by loneliness

so hemoglobin mistakes chlorophyll for kin, or sugar becomes ambidextrous

and can sing with either foot


                                                     we are only able to talk cause of energy and air

which are ubiquitous  but hard to herd or make do tricks,

we’re trained by our bodies which are totally self-aware before we can focus our eyes

let alone speak, the vibrations of lips, the shimmer of motion


where does light go at night, how do I know that midnight is noon

on the other side of a world that has so many crenulations, alleys

and dimensional transports, we have no name for a shape that keeps changing,

neither number of sides or angular relations but a way to calm us

believing the earth is as limited as we are, counting backwards from 2 

dan raphael's poetry collection In the Wordshed was published by Last Word Press in December of '22. More recent works appear in Unlikely Stories, Otoliths, Moss Piglet, Mad Swirl and Egophobia. More Wednesdays dan writes and records a current events poem for The KBOO Evening News.

dan's Book Recommendations

Two most interesting poetry books I've read recently are

Frank: Sonnets by Dianne Seuss and Maths by Joel Chace

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