from an end is the towards to                                                                      —Hugh Behm-Steinberg

These nervous teachers, their ideas lace like
hidden promises nothing brilliant is ever
in front of you, never has the name you call it,

you and your keys, like there’s a dog just eager to go

out just waiting you are where you’re supposed
to be, when you’re supposed to be there.
The way plants taste bitter, the shore, used to

know the names of your teachers, an island
because you divide yourself. Nobody grades your
efforts anymore, be longitudinal some more.


Says who’s a faucet now and no one answers.

Won’t explain any of them don’t understand
by comparison getting better by ignoring feelings,
getting better at trust, the words to sing along to

repeating like a rifle, like believing the tongue
all the time: talk so much it’s getting easier it’s
being surrounded and let go it’s repeating you

under the action is the part that loads an ending
that goes backward and cracks open and fires upon,
try to be what’s the matter you’re mostly water.


Like a song that means breath, that means outlasting,
have a wheel it’s a good thing don’t tell anyone like
a bird who copies your ekg, a tree that has no insides

so when you touch it you go all the way through it doesn’t
hurt time is made mostly of beginnings don’t spend it being
a circle let someone twist you let someone call you a cup

from which to drink from stands for dreaming yet or described

often thinking so not going to tell you what or share birth
stains or it looks like someone pinched your head shut
it’s amazing what you (already) know how to do.


Your barricades your thread towns the stone
thread in the stone shirt nobody can hurt
you that’s not true they break the heads off

statues all the time the arms and legs too like

how to rock backed up in the delays of speaking,
as in the great hammering that made you pick it
up put it down in numbered fragments

a stone iris in your stone eye got a stone hair
on your bald stone head you smoke a single
cigarette it burns forever then the vandals come.


Hugh Behm-Steinberg

Hugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields and The Opposite of Work, and three Dusie chapbooks: Sorcery, Good Morning! and The Sound of Music. Poems from an end is the towards to have appeared in or are forthcoming from Otoliths, Eunoia Review, Word for/Word and E·ratio. He's a steward in the Adjunct Faculty Union at California College of the Arts, where for ten years he edited the journal Eleven Eleven.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2018