Dennis Hinrichsen

[Toast with Honey and Cold War on It]

as I feast so I am feasted upon by what I ingest // mouth
chewing hard // sucking marrow // sips and great gulps
of air working me like an ocean wave // fission and
fusion happening all at once // all the sweet liqueurs //
flesh-atomique // there’s cesium in the honey now—
even after all those half-lives // Castle Bravo rising
like a golden hive // tier on tier // a thousand Hiroshimas
so it has to rain down somewhere—infinitesimal haikus—
now pollen—bees haul mindlessly to the comb // then frames
spun // the sluiced gold jarred raw // —and so this slice
of morning toast awaiting its half-heaven unguent // the clarified
steady mind that is fixed on god // i.e. // that is butter
(not brain) slowly melting // then the honey slathered // cinnamon
(but not too much) spoon-tapped until it rains (reigns) beautiful dust

[Not Fade Away] or [Self-portrait in Vantablack with Anish Kapoor]

I’m singing because I’m happy Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away //
there is—I think—still time for this // he’s alive because I am
alive // chorus cutting now across the top of a column of
wind // this is how the dead infect // how decay calls out to us //
it cannot be otherwise // tube of plane—that singularity—
still churning Iowa skies // wind and flurries // ground as yet
unplowed by dying // Big Bopper—Valens—not yet fearful
beside him // the sounds—not songs—in their heads
still clear // crackling radio // it’s an abyss I might paint now
in Vantablack risking litigation from Anish Kapoor //
he alone owns the rights to fashion such an image
from which nearly zero light escapes // but the abyss is always
leaking // some nights I am so robed in it I am substrate
(afraid of heartache coming but welcoming it) // my love
Cadillac huge // a chemical vapor // sweet wide beautiful blistering
burning world entrapped // deflected // released again as heat—
skin to skin—until I am membrane // v-shaped folds in throat aflutter //
heart—BOP BOP bop BOP—alive // unclenching its fist // Amen

[My Coyote Death] [with a Full Moon in It] [and a Haunting]

Living things evolve into new species only to cross again
and again. 
“With Climate Change, Species are Increasingly
Interbreeding to Survive,” Greg Breining. Ensia.

Now you asked me if I believe a man can become a wolf. If
you mean “Can it take on physical traits of an animal?”
No, it’s fantastic. However, I do believe that most anything
can happen to a man in his own mind.

          Sir John Talbot to Larry Talbot from The Wolf Man,
Universal, 1941

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
      Warren Zevon

I hope my death’s a coy- one // that is // cut with coyote //
one part dog maybe // piece of wolf // so there is
sustainability in it (winter is coming) // no subterfuge //
not this wind through a broken pane because
that’s what you are now—body—an embouchure
with shards of glass in it // sub-sonic splinters bleeding
noise // sheets of noise // not yet hybrid // cut
with melody // the infinitesimal gods (genetic variation)
—O body how you long to be just a rush of gray-brown
fur in a nearby alley at midnight—rooting out rabbits
or eating trash // a ghost-flash // slow turbine churning
of the moon // every pathway lit // —O body how you want
your death to be an urban one // and a haunting //
small dog at a window barking at teeth staring back at it

Dennis Hinrichsen

Dennis Hinrichsen’s most recent work is schema geometrica, winner of the Wishing Jewel Prize from Green Linden Press. His previous work includes [q / lear], a chapbook from Green Linden Press and This Is Where I Live I Have Nowhere Else To Go, winner of the 2020 Grid Poetry Prize. From May 2017- April 2019, he served as Poet Laureate of the Greater Lansing area. New poems are appearing or forthcoming in Abandon JournalThe Cincinnati ReviewOn the Seawall, The West Review, West Trade Review, and Witness.