Daniel Tiffany


she got to be
that way in the kitchen,
the way kitchens are. If something
goes wrong

words come
out of nowhere,
there’s no turning back, birds
flap like mad on each of six silver

No one
could tell if she
was still eating or just
watching, mercifully pale on
the out-

side and
dark blue on the
inside, wearing no crown 
astride the moon. When I had a mother
I had

to blame. What I
want you to do now, friends,
is take this fine pillow from under
my head.

Since that
night I had the
bed to myself someone
grabbed me by the shoulder and said
“Do you

the day I caught
you standing in the woods?
I knew you when you didn’t know

She saw
him and numbered
him and poured him out, a
prologue made by the same unknown

She is
with all flesh, same
spurious prologue read
before the mob twitches, pinned to
the sky.

And this
manner of plain
speaking lasted for a
period of ten years during
the Breach.

mind what it’s called.
It sleeps under a bridge,
it burns its tail: upstairs and down it
runs through

town apt
to pinch the odd
ruderal plant it rhymes
with Creole for knob her left eye

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Daniel Tiffany is a poet and theorist who lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of Southern California. The stanzas published in this issue are drawn from a book-length poem written in syllabics, parts of which have been published, or will be appearing, in BOMB, Iowa Review, FENCE, Colorado Review, Journal of Poetics Research (Australia), Flash Cove (Australia), VOLT, Horsethief, Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, West Branch, Brooklyn Rail, Lute & Drum, Bennington Review, and Tupelo Quarterly (accompanied by an interview on the project). Tiffany is the author of five previous collections of poetry, from presses including Action Books, Parlor Press, Tinfish, and Omnidawn (along with a chapbook from Noemi Press).  Poems from The Work-Shy (Wesleyan University Press, 2016)—his most recent collection, produced in collaboration with BLUNT RESEARCH GROUP—have appeared in museum exhibitions in the US and been adapted for theater. Other poems have appeared in journals such as Paris Review, Poetry, Tin House, jubilat, Lana Turner, Poetry Project Newsletter, Gulf Coast, and many others. He is also the author five volumes of literary criticism and has published translations from French, Greek, and Italian. He is a recipient of the Chicago Review Poetry Prize and the Berlin Prize (awarded by the American Academy in Berlin).