Blackbox Manifold

Issue 13: Oscar Oswald

from There There

Our tongues could find no debris to call

a thing, so we went our separate ways.

Your species breeds, while you become a word

for them to whisper face to face, between

the sheets.  A household item, like a ravine

of picketeers.  We bravely spread old news

in riddles, mucking how it is: whistle-

blowers, stolen docs, murders dropped

in our survival.  Defecting soon: sell stock

to parody.  We’ll hear chromatic hens

when we join the call to march to war.

The war, the war we chose, as in your myth

the past belittles us, makes genesis

a simple campus tour.  In times like these,

raven, get going.  These pixels bear a prayer,

expensive air, cluttering our flesh

by doctrine of suggestion with a sword.



Assembled above water, a fruit between

the breasts, working less, back to us

from choirs.  We ratio the past, a maple

bough in concrete, property of ounces.

Then, mistakenly, thirty minutes

or not.  Rain the blessing.  The company

is closely kept, circumambient

as petroglyphs, our war we won.  Old

soul and soldier’s cash.  We twinkle mood’s

mood indigo, getting whole, getting

prose in every throat.  Accepted skin

of lobbies.  Then roses, tutoring the heart

in praise, ballooning an affirmative

tip.  Rehearsal intersects the wind

with human kin, our limbs collapsing

thought.  Our first election?  Up a hill:

infinity, our climate climbing God.



A sample of divergences, we leave

into fertilities, reciprocate

the nation.  Priceless ruin endlessly.

Rationed, promontory receptacle

for blessings, our salutary weft

declassifying everything of us.

Concomitant maroon.  A saloon

of history, kaleidoscopic nod

to the affirmative, laughter-grace.

Pierced between applause, absolute

adventure and final personhood,

in my excitement, my alternatives

exponentially reduce to being

born.  I: recital mutely meadowed.

Onwards, on the inside, a violin

of rubber, green leaves in relief

foregrounding soul, impotently brief.


A baby blew a kiss to my lips.

Doorbell on the inside of a hive.

Blink with me, like Jonah and the Whale

with each other.  Bride to be, be loved.


Bring the milk, the sun is fielding limes.

You wore me out of handing you the curb.

Ace of elms in our cards, we doubt

nonetheless.  A country falls apart.


Tomato berry, grow inside this horse.

Sing as if the note were cherry, crudely.

A barrel holds the night and day apart.

Our minds admit the sun.  Their time, times one.


Hope ahead, and lead us where to go.

Oscar Oswald earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2012. He currently teaches English Composition in Portland, Oregon, and is an intern at the contemporary arts organization Yale Union. He is also an Assistant Editor for Noemi Press.  His poetry can be found in new or forthcoming editions of The Colorado Review, Gobbet, Lana Turner, Tammy, Volt, Weekday, and Word For/Word.