ROBERT KRUT.March 2016


Photo by Jeff Sirkin


This curve of sky, the inner landscape of my eye—

the moon, my pupil in reverse.

Your eyes are my eyes—

and in my hand, your heart, a useless onion.

Stop staring at the necklace around my heart—

made of human fingers, threaded knuckles.

My fist is made of a million knuckles—

I will knock a sermon out of you if it kills me.

Not hillside, but a stub-­toe-­sermon—

a crushed letter with kidnapper’s lettering.

Hidden behind litter roadside—

every street lamp in the world is one of my million eyes.

Step into the moon­-negative—

I’ll never find you—

no matter how many craters I make looking.

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*** ** ***


Lakeside, I crouch—

still enough

light before night, the reaching

branches reflect

to make a shimmer-wreath

around the water’s border.

A mockingbird holds bark,

builds an altar, whether it realizes

that fact or not. A beetle works

its way between the chips.

I remove my left hand,

set it on the water,

watch it glide across the surface

until it is out of view.

Next, my right ear,

then feet, forearm,

ankle, rib cage…

Until all

that is left

is my heart in my open palm,

along the water—

finding its way out,

seems to rise

like a torch of blood—

then sinks

to the bottom of the lake.

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*** ** ***


I’m in the box, along with your thousand unstamped letters

and termites crawling over their ink.

Fingerprints lift themselves from my hand,

stretch out like a line of music, and away.

I told you it would all lead to this.

My chest is merely a cabinet for a mason jar holding

chalk conversation hearts smashed into a fine powder.

Once, the tattoo across my forearm told you how I feel

but I can’t move to read it anymore.

Please, recite it by memory,

please. I want to remember believing something,

even if I cannot move to it

to do so.

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*** ** ***


There is too much death and rain this year.

You would hope one would cancel

the other out, in some karmic double negative—

no such luck.

It has been raining for a week,

and you’ve been dead for two days.

Today is Thursday, and finally, an arm

of sunlight holds back the storm.

The tree beside, above, and over

our building lost a branch and now

it’s on the rooftop, rain matting its leaves

into a hundred shocked eyelids.

I stare at the phantom limb,

with clouds now just out to sea,

open mouths of water collected

in pavement pockmarks.

The branch will stay there a week—

a great trophy of the rain wars—

big enough to notice, not big enough

to warrant a rush removal.

By then, the branch

will have dried out long ago,

a chalky skeleton—the leaves, fossils

traced onto the floor, binding it all together—

an elaborate scaffolding of spider webs

tying the branch down, anchoring it in place—

beneath their tent, a hundred of them

shuffling along, tie it tightly, tightly—

rewarding themselves with a dinner

of trapped earwigs in the branch’s finger.

So much web, it looks like

a cotton body, pulled apart

and laid to rest on the wood, and as

the sun lunges with its last rays

the whole contraption sparkles and

the spiders appear to disappear

and I stare

into that cloth diamond

until it is dark, and all movement

stops for the day,

and all I can think—

for that night and past—

will be how much I wish

I had taken you up there with me.

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*** ** ***


When the windows blew out,

the frame was a broken jaw,

busted lip bleeding into the house.

Shards of glass on the floor,

confetti for the taking, and our skin,

spotted with it, stinging, raw.

There are no secrets left,

everything is through a bullhorn

and the shadows bleached.

While we cower in the bathtub,

whisper a prayer for the unsaid,

for all our teeth set squarely

in our mouths.

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Robert Krut
is the author of This is the Ocean (Bona Fide Books, Winner of the 2012 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize), as well as The Spider Sermons (BlazeVox, 2009). His poems have appeared in numerous journals, both in print and online. A chapbook, Theory of the Walking Big Bang, was published by H-ngm-n Books in 2007; subsequently, he began serving on the press/journal’s Editorial Board. He lives in Los Angeles, and teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara. More information can be found at


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March 2016.ROBERT KRUT

A dozen poets. One a month. Nothing more.