Brant, Reaching
F. Daniel Rzicznek



The one I have stretches

its redwood neck from a bookshelf for


lamplight, for dog-eared wallpaper,

for plaster crackling underneath.


                     The self a dark object, driftweed.


Brant eat whatever they must

but prefer eelgrass where it sways


in the salty draw of a low tide.


                     Drop the storm, drop the cold.


Once eelgrass was cut and stuffed into walls


as insulation, the vast beds glimmering

somewhere down in the brant’s memory


before anyone at all was there

to see, shining like the too-close, violet


stars at dawn that could be planets,

or pages of sky held to a weak sun.


                    Remain so late, drop in the bay.


The carved brant on my shelf stretches west

toward a history that cannot decide.


           In the box, poor wretch. Hug the water.





F. Daniel Rzicznek is the author of two poetry collections, Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press, 2009) and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press, 2007), as well as four chapbooks, most recently Live Feeds (Epiphany Editions, 2015). His recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Volt, Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, Natural Bridge, and elsewhere. Also coeditor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press, 2010), Rzicznek teaches writing at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.