Issue > Poetry
Brian Diamond

Brian Diamond

Brian Diamond’s work has previously appeared in such publications as Hotel Amerika, DMQ Review, Sycamore Review, The Los Angeles Review, 42 Opus and 14 Hills. He has an M.A. in creative writing from California State Northridge and an M.F.A. from Arizona State University. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and dog.

Here Is A Simple Idea

Saturday, a waste. I spend
the afternoon staring at the dead
orchid in my bathroom. On TV,
three basketball games, all disappointing;
the president speaking.
My work follows me around the house
gnawing on my ear. Outside, no
reason to believe in Moshiach or anything else.
Or maybe a small blessing
catches me off-guard, spills somehow
from my lips and the whole block of apartments
crumbles: people at restaurants, dogs, bars,
pints, car radios, low clouds,
all so ordinary. Everything so happily plain.

If / Then

If then myself having walked up Telegraph
past the university with it July already,
very few students milling about in the cafés
and little to do. If then seven days
daydreaming, careless philosophy at the market
buying nectarines by the pound, their skin
wrinkled soft.  

If then behind the square apartments,
strangers seated on red crates, packs
of playing cards snapping,
in a pool of water which, from potholes
spontaneously emerges.  If,
the wide avenue, its temporary
shade, eucalyptus trees woven above.

If then the overripe plum flowers
drooping from their branches,
and business taking place under dim
lanterns, the aesthetics of a light fixture
hanging in a library. If,  
the accumulation of senses, the failure
to mean them.

If then the world, the whole world
resting on the question of a cricket, if
the soul's window is the palm
or there is weight to it,
if I, believing in trees, their existence,
stumble over and over
finding it the same season.

If then the late afternoon,
people falling out of brick pubs
with it still plenty light, my feet
pushing up an unending slope
and for what purpose I have forgotten
the little details of my surrounding,
a pink cherry tree, its branches.

If then I, being at times haunted
by disruption, tugboats in the Bay
spitting trails of smoke. A feeling,
always on the periphery
of some great victory. If, the gentle
path through trees, parting, if
the sky is silent. If also, the day.


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