Further Notes on the New Reconstruction


From the kitchens where the gas is kept
beloved are the blues shining my shoulder
old potholes knotted by masking the work.
What I need for morning escapes as steam,
night groaning over into a spume of dawn.
To prepare a meal before the next sunrise
meant risking everything to write it down.

Down the big halls through rivers & woods
are devils cradled in an old palace of deals.
Windbag so loud a people gets saturated
on while we soothe a bisque of whispers.
Electric stoves won’t get the job done but
if that’s all you got—we can downlink fire,
like two dense stars shifting the dark fields
confronting desolation 130 billion years ago.

But the recipe (in theory) is pretty simple.
What it takes is a relish for a new undoing
eventually you’ll get what you set out to do.
Stone soup: also known as politicians wheel.
A hypogeal bone forged by Black Sisypheans
who were smart enough to realize when they
reached the top of their blinking mountain
all they had to do was step aside and the rest
would take care of itself.

Nikki Wallschlaeger is the author of the full-length collections Crawlspace (Bloof Books, 2017) and Houses (Horseless Press, 2015), as well as the graphic chapbook I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel from Bloof Books (2016). Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in the Brooklyn Rail, LIT, jubilat, Apogee, Georgia Review, Witness, Denver Quarterly, Spoon River Review, and others. She was an editor for Bettering American Poetry Anthology 2015, a project promoting the work of marginalized writers. She lives in Wisconsin.

You Might Also Enjoy


Richard Hoffman

Today I'm smoke up the chimney over ashes of trust
and I don't see a Phoenix egg down there, do you?


The Octopus Dilemma

Ned Beauman

The terms of the bet declared that for every ten seconds under sixty seconds it took the diver to wrestle the octopus out of. . .


It’s a Limousine

Cate Marvin

It is nothing like a shark but the monochrome blanched off-white of its long body is dumb like a shark’s nose and dead eyes and it is turning a corner.


Baffler Newsletter

New email subscribers receive a free copy of our current issue.

Further Reading

 September 1

“We whose Names are underwritten . . . Covenant and Combine our selves together into a Civil Body Politick, for our better ordering. . .

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.