Brian Henry




from More Dangerous Than Dying


How late we came into the story

not as protagonists but as props


But to be an extra

adds an angle to these lives


"Alouah   Alouah   Alouah"





The plant delves into degenerative cosmetics

the cause of more than one argument

a month of frenzied staff meetings


I pursue my own line

of logic to the end

neighbors and nay-sayers be damned


Across the table

fallacious conclusions and unencumbered assumptions

mark their method of attack


It all ends up at the landfill

                                pots and barrels and cans

                                our invention near completion


The plant reshifts priorities

returns to shredding trees





A top-down directive

requires a shuffling of cubicles


Farewell faithful smokestack!

Farewell tower of the freshly cut!

Air redolent of pulp and death!

Farewell farewell farewell!


Eleven rows of cars my new vista

their gleam and window glare

their histories laid bare to me

my Daily Journal of Heretofore Unknown Events

ready to be filled


No one to ignore me

once I’m through





The day        that anaconda

twists through the motions

8 to 5 then back again


A huge day        swollen

with what it swallows

                                400 people on the premises

mouth broken open

a manhole without its cover


Those depths hide more than one rat





We strive for the effluvium

but lack all requisite lightness

find ourselves squarely placed

in the fluorescence of the feebly salaried


No lack of glory will redeem

this tendency toward failure

wayward intentions      insinuations

lives we circle and occasionally probe


Stasis      action       guilt

a common scene      a game almost

in its three-stepness       its crisp order


Would trade it for nothing

not an office with walls

not a callipygian receptionist


This motion subsumes all the rest





Seeming to be a part of things

this talking around the subject


a refusal to acknowledge

the supremacy of the subject


we lilt and caper around the plant

each cubicle a vessel          no        a draft


that lifts our words to the ceiling tiles

not like smoke       no movement visible


not spiritual or even emotional

but they're up there       blending


long after we release them

acting the parts we refuse to play