D.R. Baker

D.R. Baker

D.R. Baker is a Midwest-based poet and writer who has published two collections of poetry, the critically-acclaimed American Supper and A Garland of Blood and Dream. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Baker has worked as a waiter, janitor, journalist, residential caregiver, horse muck raker, and chicken farmer, amongst many other less-illustrious occupations. He currently writes full-time, reading much of his work at literary festivals, public libraries, and cafes. Baker also enjoys spending time with his family, and playing guitar.

Hungry Construction

Cluster, broken-down box, cardboard, lying in strands,
Blue foam, packing foam from China, all littering
Our living room,
Joel’s project he doesn’t know what to build.
How should we know what to build?
Skyscrapers, smirking towers leering from above,
No language, we will build that later.
Long ends, scotch tape, duct tape, string,
Short, thick foam, heavy butt of some imaginary rifle,
Wrapped tubes, now a bird, a hawk, a pterodactyl from my
Son’s mind.
No language, we will build that later
We are ADHD and what to build, we so clueless
But then a plane forms, smooth plane, a sleek blue jet
Chinese spies, intrigue in Shanghai.
O Hong Kong, what is my son building here?
No language, we will build that later
A telescope but not his idea or mine,
The fruition of frustration, our invention has become a toy
The pungency of pork chops, pork chops, the side dish unknown
Cardboard pieces and blue foam, packing foam on the living room floor
No language, we will build that later

Feral City, #23

now hear this: my dog,
Erasure from mouth of time
herald of jawbone
both ancient & new
across his span of
shoulders & fierce
but never to me
filled with fright at
my awakening saunters
into kitchen, into morning
light overcast &
somehow Nubian,
shit from spigot of canine
arse, shit that I stoop
to remove,
flush down toilet as
my dog fierce
(but never to me)
recalls mornings before
mourning when overcast
sky itself knelt down
to receive the dung of sun
He must recall a border
collie must remember those
times before when fierceness
became fright, when light
cast preternatural glow
before the dog,
the ramble,
the fossil
& the glibness of Man.
Gone Mute

You cannot speak about the beauty of roses
Without an utterance, a sigh, a broken wish,
The thorn-bled tongue of cruelty.
You cannot speak about the seven sisters
Without candles, coral, lapis lazuli,
And dead laughter.
There’s more always more down the hallway,
Up the stairs, through the broken window,
Yet we cannot speak, remember, about
Dog dreams, broken-legged mustangs,
Or the smoke of flaming ochre.
We cannot speak about distance without
Longing, the vanished without memory,
Breath without effort and naked seascapes.
We cannot speak about time without the known,
The unknown & the shadow of the interloper.
Always a shadow, always the shadow.
We cannot speak because we have gone mute,
As quiet as starlight upon moonless shores
Below a hunter’s belt, our stony skulls rapt in silence.

Vanishing Act

When I vanish,
There’ll be a blue-hearted woman
In every bedroom, sighing
Her night away, golden bosoms.
When I vanish,
There’ll be a sudden soldier
Ready to fight, solitary &
Amused, as he loads his final magazine.
When I vanish,
None of this will be true
& scholars will punish the kids anew.
Business will be good for barmaids
And a cloud or two may swell
In an outstretched urban night,
Under a forgetful moon well past noon,
A free round for everyone in the joint.
A free joint for everyone in the round
When I vanish when I vanish
Another tattoo across yr chest
w/children blessed by rueful moms.
When I vanish, even the mean men
Will weep triangular tears, there will be
A new heartbeat across this big blue
Earth when I walk away
From this spot where I kneel and pray that
You, you, and you
Will find yr vanishing point,

Nowhere Light

Who God is,
Seems to Be
A Uni-Verse of
Joyous tears,
patterns cut from night,
cat peeking out a window,
geometric dusk,
the pure silence of algebra,
mental abacus,
The same sun as Morocco
who I am
the sun is melting
who you are
wants you to know
wants nothing in yr hand
but a dove
good morning


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