Daniel Rzicznek

from Leafmold

The fox’s occupations: swatting meat, eluding dogs,
listening to weather at the edge of the empty road. In
drunkenness there is a room of words falling into blood
unheard. The task of sleep begins and all else withdraws
into etcetera. Lamplight: cross the brook and you’re in a
country that hates you like lightning hates a brushpile.
From the umbrellas of smoke left by fireworks, I feel the
gazes of native dead boring holes straight through to dirt,
the stone underneath the dirt, to the flame underneath the
stone. An abiding predilection in the making of scratches
straight and curved, the looping of things, the dotting to
show significance. Tarragon: smells a bit like soil. This
morning I saw two doves scuffling on the roof of the
neighbor’s shed—but to say something of it? The city
surrounds even itself—a wave of bricks paused at the angle
of descent. The trailhead will be cut by the summer blaze—
a dry month, a sign left gesturing. Tonight, I watched the
pot—it boiled.


F. Daniel Rzicznek’s collections and chapbooks of poetry include Vine River Hermitage (Cooper Dillon Books 2011), Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press 2009), Neck of the World (Utah State University Press 2007), and Cloud Tablets (Kent State University Press 2006). His individual poems have appeared in Boston Review, The New Republic, Orion, Mississippi Review, Hotel Amerika, Shenandoah, and Notre Dame Review. 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 Bowling Green, Ohio.