Brandon Krieg




Fallen osage orange smells
like boards at a construction site
I used to climb through
stealing nails I didn't need
the adults laughed at the scream
of lobsters in the pot
bump stocks and bibles
said the wind in the trees
your rewards will be many
hedge funds and hegemony
I added that last part
after fancy college
grades tattooed on my ankle
even the air is ranked
like a snack or a scripture
Maybe you see me as
a black pearl suddenly valuable
I'm the roach in the knife drawer
wearing a mask of white mold
engorged with atrazine
sipped from a dew-bead
my gaze snowed-out
like a robbed carved god
on display for donors
soon I'll donate my body
to popular culture
to eat me and absorb
these parts per million
what's left of afternoons
by the spillway under the interstate
taking hit after hit
of oceanic feeling





Extractor by birth, receiver
by nettle petal north of west huzzah buzz

I crumbled the phallus carved into the sea cliff
listened as wind

etched in the pale palimpsest its Flyleaf of a Thousand Sleeps

Gray whale boomed, I ran down
the cliff to follow its northbound booming,
feet drumming the packed sand until I had neither

Domestic Tranquility nor The Blessings of Liberty,
the power to coin money, nor to provide and maintain a navy,

and hid my ribs
on the pale underside of a fern.

There dreamed on fins
the milk-torch passing through eons,

woke and spied on the Fathers weeping their Leviathan
had washed up on shore, soggy pulp
picked at by beaks

of others,
tagged and collared

American shad               black oystercatcher        pinus contortus            
agate                 immigrant

blamed for blunt-sparking dry needles
(it was white teens with matches

from pornographic matchbox torturing grasshoppers after masturbating)               
old growth smoke          climax-particles in         alveoli             
I get so low

I have to rest every ten steps under
the ash-blackened glacier—
could it be even in these moments melting audibly faster?

where the broadleaf lupine with its fuzzy pods, little pea-purses 
packed with enzyme inhibitors does not long sustain

the fantasy one could graze
placidly upon the summer-abandoned ski run blazed purple
if one's little bags of California

dates, walnuts, petered out.
I only had to eat two of the raspberry cannabis gummies
I carried with me

to see the stacked cairns
guiding me across countless snowmelt gorges,
across fields of black volcanic powder to my waiting car

worn down to powder and blown away.





Access roads crush their gravels over      
            "a mountain where spirits dwell
            "a spring of ceremonial water

Gate code is 1830
            1876 also works
                        1890, 1973

"9 out of 10 better dead" to paraphrase
the big stick face carved into the mountain

Heirs have redrawn the district
to include more cottonwoods and junipers
            "it's their own fault for not voting"

Leaf-buds          museum prayer beads    eternity
will run out of money in 2019
                                    without more pumps

Put on your mask of instrument panel light
crack Dakota Kid seeds to stay awake,
            piss in a big gulp, toss it in a ditch

Prometheus's descendant
hides in the Killdeer Mountains,
crushed rig hand turned populist
                        liquor picks his liver daily

gas flares           gas flares           gas flares
            illuminate the canyonland

"We know the Indians
got a bad deal, we watch Bonanza

in the afternoon. She doesn't need
our permission to marry him."

"You can go anywhere,
even off the marked trails"         
            Like that, you are the first person

to sign in at the box since November

Walk down into the canyon familiar
from the window of the long drives
from your own through your parents' childhoods

Your father young near here
                                    carried a long icicle
containing all the world's light
home from his route, a little late,
            his father smashed it rightfully against the house

The icicle is whole, doesn't melt, you are
pierced in a dream and no one can tell
you go on in pangs trying to conceal it

rightfully rightfully to the face
in the mountain streaked
            by petrochemical rains,
its burning immobile lips somehow speaking
in the voice of your father's father, saying

"nothing ever tasted better
than snowmelt in the canyon
            trickling under the bed
            of a washed out road I was repairing."





repeat what you can
commute five miles
dismantle the set
rest your buzzed head
against the arch of the storm
bees hum a trunk          
your cause is this green
of light in new leaves
catkins and goslings
sundown behind mountains
petition the pollen
for thousandfold returns
vineyards and pergolas
enduring enemies
make your heart push
blood through your ears            
submerged in a tub
tear the certificate
breathe on the glass
look up the dewpoint
see what belief is           
the bloody feathers
consult the dry canyons
whose rivers now reign
on thrones behind dams
the stars are reactors
some conglomerate will tap
you won't be consulted
return to ritual             
that park always empty
sit under scaffolding
like sparrows or squirrels
neither in nor out
kneel down with your animal
a heartbeat is strange     
in any container
step out of the soundtrack
into pine smell and pismires
raying out from a center
return to the verse
marked by another
read it with feeling
to a wall peeling layers
are you a user with access          
then enter the portal
sit and say nothing
to a child on the steps
the boardwalks the ice creams
the brainless full summer
knocked down by waves            
shell bits in teeth
the hands extended
must be gripped each in turn
placeholder to placeholder
peel off the sticker
put away the pictures
unplug the devices
throw her lock on the eggshells
in the bag at the curb
petition the snows
coming from nowhere
they may bring news
meet her that January    
as Physics allows
meet her that June
the pool where crabs scatter
from cleaning the machinery
of the music she loved
each wave rocks it slightly
answer the waves
coming from shores
of nowhere with questions
You lovers you prophets
which silence is yours?