Three Poems / by Ryan Cunningham



O Heraclitean Fire

“ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω μία καὶ ὡυτή”


O Heraclitean fire!



and seem

returned to me

like cockroaches in my breadbox

when the plum trees bloom.

Not like the raccoons,

twenty-fingered bureaucrats

who export my cat food

and make small copies of themselves

and lamentably

the neighborhood children

have lost their predatory instincts. 

                 But if each mote

                 be sublimated

                 let their shit feed the grass

                                  where crickets will chirp

                                                   feeding my musicianship

                                  where dogs will run

                                                   feeding my childishness

                                  where cows will graze

                                                   feeding my natural cruelty

so that I

and several thousand friends

can build a Rocket

to take us to Antares B

where we will found an extrasolar colonial society

where the big-toed enslave the smaller-toed

and listen to the archons

recite the space sagas

beneath the stained glass

pressure domes.

                 And when our star is spent

and its photosphere swell


pending supernovaic collapse

we will be incinerated

in one hot flash

and I will be returned to you

where I always was

and was bound to be

O, Heraclitean fire.





In effect,
                 an incomplete grade
                 purchase the official cook-

                 subscribe subscribe subscribe
                 my thighs too radiant

for the storage
                 I would

make my doggybiscuit
                 hard and spiny or
                 the texture of sandpaper

Boy Scout knotted
                 (rabbit, tree,
                 rabbithole) and

buttery pink as a
                 nineteenth-century Teutonic Christ
                 and as

                 Organs are members
                 are proper

which is to say spiderwebbed
                 with a certain solidity





I Had a Mother And


I had a mother and
there will be a mother. There
are friends and almost

no friends. Now
is mostly not
what happens.


Seers iterate plausible

There will be new histories –


In an infinite sedimentary expanse
                tadpoles hold three-day colloquia
where every third is chosen by lot
                to colonize the pond by the stand of ashes
when their mud puddle dries up with the spring




Ryan Cunningham lives in Brooklyn. He does whatever he can.