Daniel Owen

Daniel Owen is a Brooklyn-based writer and member of the Ugly Duckling Presse editorial collective. He is the author of Toot Sweet (United Artists Books, 2015); the chapbooks Authentic Other Landscape (Diez, 2013) and Up in the Empty Ferries (Third Floor Apartment Press, 2016); and the Mondo Bummer broadside “Catawampus.” His writing has appeared in Hyperallergic, Elderly, Lana Turner, A Perimeter, The Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere.

Purple blossoms come to the trees
to describe it would
sound the same as somebody
like you wake in the morning in the same body as before and your eyes see the same sights and
your words speak as ever words spoke
and thoughts
resume their shapes
all goes along and one is the only pronoun
one needs, a cylindrical concrete structure with all the space one could want
of a tongue
blue as aphasia
the flowers in their pot
still vaguely recalling the wind and the blue
of a book one can’t remember
a choice
or a chore
signal like a choice
and in no time at all
the swallows come back


In humidity I hear
the echoes
as if all in a tunnel a voice
equates with fear its digging
through children’s
laundry to vanish

I remember the
quiet streets Atlantic
light a more beautiful time
wan and sedate
in mouths as long as years

you can take the train
to the beach with a shovel and pail and take some sand
in the pail and walk down the beach and
put the sand somewhere else on the beach


I touch nothing and nothing touches me back
people wear clothes
it’s sad
to feel nice
I want to dance
now touch the stone
all the old
feeling fades though I want
candy-coated popcorn
sun coming through
like a cicada shell made of chitin
its song a chitinous tymbal
flicking in hollow innards like a toy when you wake
as a child and the night is still as stone and continues
was the first name named and how?
I will send you a text message, it will watch the ocean
meet the beach
the loneliness of hands in pockets
the clock
will strike noon and one will no longer know what is meant by noon
anyway it’s been hard
not to feel
a thing in its thingdom
moves in and out of time like a piston
a Dan among Dans
a stone thrown at tourists, something that knows
just what you mean and returns to you
just what you want
I’m afraid I can feel it
the surface
of a song sung
by the surface of a singer
in line for the hours

for Lisa Rogal
suddenly I caught myself wildly
desiring to have a look at nature
the thickness
of its color
and its name
and the paintings had no pictures in them at all
only words
some squiggles
a marionette
peopled pancakes
drunk corn kiss
by which to light and string
a face is simple
speaks for itself
it’s material vacillation
one mustn’t
let the syrup become too thick
and I look out
at the park and think the human needs the sound
of water and look at the sky and the sky is pale
I think of everyone fucking in relation to an ideal
like on a subway car everyone instinctively disrobes and fucks
this might not be good but
this might not be bad
mass in mass
you to you
while elevators go up
and down
but nothing works
and a voice rose
from the shallow water
it came through a rusted pipe lodged between two large stones
and it said ‘the sun came out last Thursday, remember?’
and I said ‘yes’
‘and what did you do?’
‘oh, just
a glance’