Danielle Blau

Two poems from Danielle Blau’s peep

followed by a note on the author


The Vernal Equinox Story

Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era
— a palindrome

On the twentieth of March, day and night hung
in the balance, and we would
chant our palindromes — Redder. Peep. Noon. Oh, who was it I
saw. Oh, who
— would fold into ash
tree shadows till cloven
sky quivered, aswarm
and Light spake again:
Behold, my forms.

Then came a reckoning
for the faint
of temper, faint of hue, as sun’s coiled
ribs exhaled sharp
Spring — downlusted blind
translucence towards us:

who clutched
the bony dusk
cast by bent sumac twigs — we few
for splendid pestilence,
sad match, we charred
and lumpish dust;

who hallowed the stalk, begetter
of shade; who picked
our firstborns’ names from the thousand
words for gray; who hymned to
without form and void, O void and
formless void:

while all around, the spindle-
bushes — Winter’s muted saints — were drawn by blushed enormity
to brink of savage bloom: as there
beneath, the crouched
in prayer — the blasted, the dazzleworn —
scorched wheat in wind were our skirling limbs,
who sing: Yes it’s us,
Behold, our forms.



Excerpts from The Fear

No but what was I saying again
about that Thai restaurant we all
used to love? So there I

was and dead
of November by the way and I was having the Mighty
Khan Stir Fry, and Frieda ordered — I can’t

remember — but we were
talking about what
had happened and she was like No

way in hell, because — so you guys know
who Vladimir Petru is? Oh. Well anyway,
well actually never mind.


But there’s another me
inside of me

and she is wearing Hedi Slimane. Wait —
how? Does she have

rich parents? No clue.
See? There’s

a lot about me
we don’t know. It’s like I’ve read

about what makes
for best quality living-

room furniture: you cannot tell
by outward

look of the upholstery alone,
which, case in point, you

know, the me
inside, she truly

might surprise you: her skirt is short
like really

short and sorry

not so
age appropriate. Fuck. Don’t look now but

look: the poor thing, I think
she thinks she’s

working it. She’s like — Oops, is
my epidermis

trending? Christ. People like that
scare me. To each

his own, I mean, but personally
I’m more the down-

home type, I guess. Me, I’ll just go in this
fyi, borrowed
likeness of shrunk death.


Yesterday I ate yuzu fruit and spat
the seeds across the room from
where I sat in the chair. It wasn’t

the worst. I meant
to get clementines. I count all my
seeds after dark. My chair is a Casket.

it’s a Gasket. A Gasca. It’s the White
Grub-Suckling Chaise by Jesùs Gasca.


I saw my face once
after sundown
in a hole in the sidewalk that

had filled all the way
up with rain. Inside my face
was a hole the color of

fall sky after a storm, and inside
the hole was a glow-in-the-
dark red sign

with some white
that said KFC. Gross. It’s —
just think about it. I mean, it

isn’t even real.


Danielle Blau’s Rhyme or Reason: Poets, Philosophers, and the Problem of Being Here Now is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. Her chapbook mere eye was selected for a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Award and published in 2013 with an introduction by D.A. Powell, and her poems won first place in the 2015 multi-genre Narrative 30 Below Contest. Poetry, short stories, articles, and interviews by Blau can be found in The Atlantic online, The Baffler, The Harvard Review, The Literary Review, Narrative Magazine, The New Yorker‘s book blog, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Plume Poetry, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Wolf, the Argos Books poetry anthology Why I Am Not a Painter, several volumes of the Plume Anthology of Poetry, and elsewhere. A graduate of Brown University with an honors degree in philosophy, and of NYU with an MFA in poetry, she curates and hosts the monthly Gavagai Music + Reading Series in Brooklyn, teaches at Hunter College in Manhattan, and lives in Queens. You can learn more about her at danielleblau.com.

“The Fear” was first published – and published in full — in the Fall 2015/Winter 2016 issue of The Saint Ann’s Review.