Inspired by Frederick Seidel


O.G. Rose
4 min readApr 16, 2024

A Poem by O.G. Rose

Photo by Irina Iriser

Choir to Apophatic Spring

In-difference, in-silence,
at the end of labor:
()()timate (self-forget)
or together-but — up-down —
saw [as poetic-law]. Life(…(ever-opening)…)hinges
on failing to say, “In()decible.”

Ode to Past Spring

Home is where the heart beats
straight, and marries metal into a hot saw
with a hammer-of-day-in-and-day-out,
through intercourse, preferably
at lunch, where you(r) will forever stand(s)
on the surface of what you saw,
splitintwo, but never face(d) —
efforts of what-is-apart to go deeper
between a native mechanic Southerner
and Constanza more southern yet lesser.

Ode to Past Summer

You must believe
there is something-like-intimacy
in not saying anything, after years
of rising before the sun is yellow,
and seeing her in white eating oats with brown sugar
near the motionlessladybugcollecting window,
and you sipping black caffeine and acting
like the other is part of the scenery,
as if you quickly stepped into the bathroom
after a long discussion that suggested love,
and returned where nothing else needed to be said
because it would be-labor
the labor.

Home is where time has quickened to night, and now
there is no need to break the holey-silence
of firefly-blinking. They (as in those you need
to exist, somewhere out there, to give the words a weight
like humidity) say the closest friendships are those
in which it feels like days are just minutes,
in which it feels like you just smiled,
but you have only ever worried, outside grilling,
that smiling would strike as a sign
of distrust — apart-but-not-split —
seasoning and aging for devouring.

Ode to Past Fall

Death do what-is-apart
through that tiredness resting
in intercourse, like great oaks
shedding the weight of colorful clothes,
in constructing a home with dry walls
of apple pancakes and drives on the hills,
with takeout before Friday Night with an immigrant
under the lights. A game of pushingtogether, pilingon,
perhaps better than holding-hands like stuck-hyphens,
but not all lacings, fire-like, hurt |close(d)|
“Like” and “life” are near ()
and dance and flow — just
a little unsaid.

Home is where the heart is
kept in a safe besides the Social Security cards,
where parting-words never |cutoff| inside (hope[?])
and never see the light of the neighbor’s colorful leafdisturbedyard,
where no one can snatch the heart up and run
through October to the hospital to finance the costs
of living. Hardwords root-in deep,
un-mendable with surgery and
un-water-able with medicine.
Pullup or only |cut| and pull-on,
but then a new()tongue beginning()word — (“Yes:”) —
from () to one is like a piling, onetoone, but divinely not.

Ode to Past Winter

By the frostclosedwindow, at the hickory table,
you think that you must feel awake
alone, because otherwise you would leave
if it felt like you could offer nothing special,
something lovely and invisible on the surface
of hot chocolate and wrapping paper. You think
that jails are also prisons, not just the cells.
What whimpering revelation is g(r)asping
that what is wanted is willed but what is willed
can be unwanted, that will and want can dance
but usually fight, an old Romeo and Juliet
of foreigners.

Home, if chosen, is where the self you keep
dies, not colored-over or seasoned-down, where
(when, set by set, the parentheses wear-free away
like crying rocks under time-glory for re()member()ing)
the truth is set free:
you are a terrible person,
always trying to let others have what they want
according to you, an obvious reason
loved ones (like you) look forward
to spending free time

Un-saw-able, indivisible, and ()()timate —
al()together here. See:

Ode to Missed Summer.

Home is where you cannot blame anyone
for wanting to avoid the evidence
of another coming fall — the effacement of brackets —
sudden silence when you approach through the twilight yard;
the air conditioner activating when you arrive
for bedunconsciousness — that when you speak,
you should quickly clarify what you meant
[and can’t], but especially don’t
when you really should [nada], those moments when
heart[] beat[] them[] down into gibberish and dust,
that composition of missed genesis,
like angels fighting — [for unspeakable] good.



O.G. Rose

Iowa. Broken Pencil. Allegory. Write Launch. Ponder. Pidgeonholes. W&M. Poydras. Toho. ellipsis. O:JA&L. West Trade. UNO. Pushcart.