Daniel Fraser ~ Robert Mitchum

for Karen Solie

a storm is blow­ing in from Paradise —Walter Benjamin

Backward angel, car­ry­ing a love/hate mouth
to match the hands, pump­ing gas on high­way asphalt,
your tar­ry brawn push­ing my tongue
across North American lan­guage. Diner cheeks,
eyes at sun­set, chin half-cut: a sickle
carv­ing out two faces both turned away
from good. Smoke drift­ing over low­ered lids
too tran­quil for the sting of rhythm,
every shot a drawl, a ques­tion, framed as if
to say what next? History’s a mug’s game,
mak­ing moves behind our backs,
but one you’ll play again, for a chance to get clean
of these dead sen­tences, words and voices
that haunt the canyon, wheels spinning
back to cat­a­stro­phe, all those spectres
blow­ing sil­ver through the pines.


Daniel Fraser is a writer from Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. His poet­ry and prose have fea­tured in: LA Review of Books, Aeon, Acumen, The London Magazine, Anthropocene Poetry, and X‑R-A‑Y, among oth­ers. His poems and short fic­tion have both won prizes in The London Magazine annu­al com­pe­ti­tions. His debut poet­ry pam­phlet will be pub­lished by igni­tion­press in Autumn 2020. Twitter @oubliette_mag. Web http://danieljamesfraserwordpress.com/