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.