Issue 16 · 2012




Two Poems


by Adrian Silbernagel





love song / suicide bomb


As the insomniac dreads the night, so does the city

Grow petrified of being what it is, needing what it needs.

Take the bridges we managed, despite downpour and detour, to let burn.

An animal in motion stays asymmetrical: this was me trying to get even

With history—carbon footprints all the way down.

The metroplized skyline like a girl, by definition, interrupted

By the politics of entrance, essence askance—warship lands

Her one-hundred-story deal: published, perished.

They’re tightening the border now, punctuating things without thinking

What they might be killing off. If this is freedom, I’ll have no part in it.

If this is scandal– I want in on it all. In Time’s Square, a figure ate

Dirt, background ate figure, a skating rink falls asleep full

Of fractured bones, New York City full of terror

And I still can’t remember where I parked that night

For the life of me // requires so many more bodies than this





teen angst / grand theft auto


It all started with you wanting

to set off all the alarms without a thought

to how selfish that crime–

to-criminal-ratio would’ve sounded.

I tugged at my ski mask and swore

to play superfluous. Perhaps I was praying

for all the wrong things, teased the world

in all its mock-oyster glory. I lived

for you I killed for you I promised you

it’s all in how you frame it. Underground

subways converted into anti-rain dance halls

the beat and what falls between the beat

Ginsburg, Ferlinghetti, fanatics passing out

–dated literature out to ravers at the tunnel’s mouth

exact a dripping pulp. Water torture

was all in our heads, like the song

you only loved because it made you feel

invincible as it boomed from your snow-white

’87 Corsica, bass cranked, heart pounding,

eyes close as they’d ever been to sleep.

Dream-screams flee lips crimson kissed

by all the hooks you made out with

like a kid in a jewelry store, delinquent

written all over her car, and I’m total

–ly that pearl right now.










Adrian Silbernagel’s work has been published in The Columbia Review, Rufous City Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Destroyer, Kill Author, and elsewhere.  Adrian Silbernagel is online at