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3 poems by Alexander Zitzner

I Have A Raincoat Which Dreams

of burning. It tells me where

the storms are--

dairy cows

begin to

cower beneath

a tree of ash;

Always in the distance

between me

& a better me

wind waves through shores of dogwood

flowering while the Cascade

Range bursts & opens

the Seattle cloudscape:

With thunder--a pink shiver

of branches beneath lightning--

this rain sheds my coat’s hold

on avoiding the world’s

dissolve & face

in a puddle

asking what I’m going to do

with this life.

Year of Disappearing

My name is signed on the broken

wing of clouds crushed by the sun

setting back into its corner of earth

where the moon searches to find

me crying. I’ve got my longest night.

My motel room. Head filling with snow

looking out on the desert. My friends

are blacking out in dormitories I don’t feel

alive in & I’m walking away. In Hill Country

alone except for Mercury, its cusp on a cactus

flower, retrograde, its needles disappearing

in my palm when I pull it closer to smell

the stamen powdered with what still believes in me.

Worm Translations

Nightcrawler’s stage set

to sand down

the desert

Rain injects itself

almost everywhere

& what am I

among the pumpjacks

of Texas stringing

oil out

if not a steel drum

misplaced by the drill

we’ve named our lord

I hold sacred

what I’ve kept

in denial

of freedom

My catalog copied

every socket & piston

a customer of rust

would eye

All I can remember are the worms

where with their tongues are holy

enough to open the earth

& close it


Alexander Zitzner is an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is a former poetry reader for The Adroit Journal, and is the former assistant arts administrator to The Priory writing residency in Eau Claire. His work is forthcoming from Water~Stone Review.


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