sporklet 11

Hugh Behm-Steinberg

From an end is the towards to

No longer what, nothing but dogs going by even

when their tails are wagging, even when they’re

always disappointed they’re such good dogs being,


going dog dog dog dog dog not the least bit


secretive so you shouldn’t be secretive the dog

in the living room the dog in the yard the dog

growling at all the dogs going by, all day long.


Don’t be cynical your body replaces itself all

the time you’re just the dog that gets tilted out

of an earlier dog it somersaults/ yips free of you.




Be a world of legs explains the house you’ve been

sitting on the floor too long it’s all longing these

days besides exercise it’s the new adjective.


It’s all polite and crossed, it’s all not ever saying

it’s all doctored these days and bitter like metformin

as it squeezes all the sugar out of you, kind and sweet


you, night before you were so hungry for that healing.


The house laughs it’s happy you grafted rooms upon it for

all the baby house eggs to incubate. Friend, you have to get

up, turn and matter. Get up, turn, and matter some more.




Center the, their love complex and waving

always disappointed you just have to be broken

both ends, all conclusions other you, being in


your hand you put it in your other hand you put

it in your pocket you take it out you tuck it in

your shoe you take off your shoe it’s never been


your shoe, nothing you have ever belongs to you


just stack and stack and stack mistakes and stacks

wondering if you’re free or if you’re for sale or

if the heart ever divulges who it trusts.




Multiplies, a shape to staircase, commence upon.


Hum of carrying a which is the work of, your mother

quit her job; a eucalyptus smell forever a plantation

dusted in granite powder, sour and slowly reliant know


the spirals, the cleavages, the golden crescents of

mushrooms you don’t see what’s growing you don’t

see what’s growing, the interior is just another canal,


the boats, the boats with their bright flags, their jaunty

exquisite luckiness, full of mothers on their way home

from work, pull each body after them across lakes of hair.

Hugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press), as well as three Dusie chapbooks, Sorcery, Good Morning! and The Sound of Music. Several of his bird poems were published in Spork. He’s a steward in the Adjunct Faculty Union at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where for ten years he edited the journal Eleven Eleven.