Six Poems by Peter Longofono

Poetry: Peter Longofono

Seismic Enthusiast

You can tell humans by
their flocking. They call
them clearings when they
get there. You can tell it

timberline. Become optional,
an erosive classic intercedes.
Nothing now qualifies your
hermetic stare-down. You,
plucking grissom out the ruly.

They, triangulating your knock
forest, sparse Switz, traipsing up
to populate your zero. Wresting
cheesewheels out Alsatian sub-
basements, they set the slabs

tumbling. So the annual rout
commences, mayflies surprised
into tesseracts. You ought not
inveigle them. With respect,
it shows, it tells.


Best not to speak of them as pointing, though
in truth all points participate. As in everything
loadbearing there is that which succumbs

for each that vanquishes. Clumsy, ordinary,
stocktaking turns. The wheel’s will for pleasure
to register diametrically as pain. We move

and the wheel feels used, yet we won’t admit
to discourse a weighty roundness or a worthy
adversary. By being blunt, a wheel finagles

not to miss the point, but again: doesn’t it
point? By being around, it gets ahead.
It’s whelkwisdom—progress as all

directions assayed in order, but not
at once, then abdicated. Logic as doing
the only thing it knows how to death.


Their sums, their amplitudes,
their forceupons. Each hates
the charactered reflex. Each has
known satisfaction and flinches at it.

The more they think of these pangs
the less they do. Their sums put on
an interested face. These faces invent rules.
They snick themselves on curbs, damn it

they say sotto voce. It’s early
sport and unfit for polite talk.
Look, the face or the fist must
knuckle down quick.

The neighborhood’s struts
probably spell The Neighborhood.

The soon-to-be also function
as a decorative grille. Or act like
a building behind a building.

At this time they dispense with necessity
like an idiom, like the idiom
let’s dispense with necessity.

Crowd Pleasure

Sundown, a choice occult
honeypot steaming out the U
in daughter. Our mountain
vantage affords a twelfth-
century miracle fork, His
Blizzard’s whinging writ
of seigniorage. Our incident

audience bolted to fealty.
Cheek to atpouring, sprung for,
old-empiric, what officiates,
the gavel? For which man won’t
repeat the holsterlick, the resentful
glance’s pouchful of grease?

Crisp shock whitesweeps
onlookers’ scalps, demons-
trations graph backwards
up the sky, St. Anselm’s artery.

Now in scorched horse we rubber-
neck, talking moire. We close, pubs.
The whole of sex is to swat a mantis.

Double Strike

Taking a Welsh, salt-saponified air,
Puck did not after all stick, though
cement Benedict pumped his face.
Getting along in the peaty wisp,
things were, Puck’s smushed
eyehole all id with sturgeon pride.
Autoimmunity had from the rabbit

clans the jackal’s portion.
Puck, how do you think
the author of shoveling
was buried? The spryest
of these conspicuous, turned-
to-hobby-horse, doubling-
as-one-act charities is the tilted
ewer. We’re having hem-haw
a putsch. With gnashing regret
I am here to inform you that I
totally forgot the important part
and whoops, you’re arrested.

—for Michael

Figures a city cleft by river would have trouble
keeping itself from getting carried away—
so preposterous a city that it sets fire to mineral
water and invites one in, naked.

Budapest eternally leaves half a foot in
the depths, neither/nor-ing, safehazardly.
It’s in hot water with heftier, less liquid
superpowers. It’s here that a handful

of escapes-me-now painters did something-
or-other about forgettability. Didn’t they?
Is that a superpower? Has paint only
made its point when it crumbles? Has old age?

Peter Longofono’s poems have appeared in fields, Luna Luna Magazine, Public Pool, and Tenderloin, among others. He edits reviews for Coldfront and makes music with TH!CK. His chapbook, CHORDS, was published in March 2016 by the Operating System. He lives in Brooklyn.


Check out HFR’s book catalog, publicity list, submission manager, and buy merch from our Spring store. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.