Seth Jani

Broken Hulls
Do you require anything
Of the ocean?
It’s been gathering our
Darker factions
And is now a world of secrets.
We can love it the way
We love dried flowers
Pressed between pages.
Their beauty astounds us,
Though we will never know
Their full circumference,
The fields where they bloomed
Centuries ago,
Or the hand that tore them
From their dominion
To preserve their final, fading blues.
Wherever those ships
Were headed, the eels light them up
Like storm-filled windows.
The shape of all we know
Is defined by that beautiful,
Fragmented flash.

Into Matter
The soul translates
To a mustard-colored bird,
A stygian heirloom
On darkened banks.
It is a seed
Or maybe a star
From other,
Radiant hungers.
When it comes down
It’s like a paulownia leaf
In lateral sunshine.
We hold it up
To shade our bodies,
Or cup great mouthfuls
Of rain.

An eidolon
Bigger than what
We calculate,
Bigger than our mercy,
Appears at the door
Like a bird.
Its face is black as sinter,
As the crux of volcanic clouds.
What does it want if not forgiveness?
If not the curve of a heart
Enfolding it into human form?
It disappears without resolution,
Leaving us to denote
Scales of darkness
Between the light and rain.

Olly by the Big-Sea-Water
“Such a big room” Olly thinks
Looking over the Atlantic.
“In there a hundred hearts could disappear,
A hundred men, and nothing but seashells,
Bones like bright china, someone’s gigantic
Distance from home.”
He walks the shore and the cold stones
Happen to soothe his feet.
He pretends they are snow
Fallen from a dragon’s mane,
Something great he has conquered,
Some old tooth-like structure
Inhabited by ghosts, sealskin phantoms.
Farther along the white cliffs
His body becomes a small star,
A fire among the sedges.

Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven Circle Press. His own work has been published widely in such places as The Chiron Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific Review, VAYAVYA, Gravel, Yellow Chair Review and Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry. More about him and his work can be found at