Pick-a-Poem: Daniel Tobin


Welcome, blog readers, to another Pick-a-Poem post! Each Wednesday we feature a new poem from a poet you may not have heard of before. I find these poems on Poetry Daily, which is a site where a new poem is featured each day. So if our weekly posts aren’t enough for you, you might want to check out the website! This week we feature two poems from author Daniel Tobin, BB and In Wax and Fire.

According to his bio page on Poetry Daily, Daniel Tobin has written five poetry books. These books include Where the World is Made, Double Life, The Narrows, Second Things, and Belated Heavens. Belated Heavens was the winner of the Massachusetts Book Award in Poetry in 2011. He has won several awards, including the Robert Frost Fellowship, the Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize, and creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

BB and In Wax and Fire, by Daniel Tobin


Bright grit, pellet, bead of summeriest bronze
Broken off the string of a furled necklace,
Pearl of my anger’s petrifying slough,
I loaded the like of it one by one
One afternoon into the barrel’s craw,
Then went for those boys and their mocking names
With my father’s tree-target gun, my aim
Honed to the moment when the pupil narrows—

Though no one fell at the glare of my hate,
And my brother trooped me away, the bullet
Of my self’s little i, rogue period,
Smaller than this box-bound, reddish planet.
I hear thousands falling now, in the first
Drops, the patter, the babble on the roof

In Wax and Fire

    For Schrödinger’s cat,
and for Jeoffry, Ollie, and Zero, poets’ cats

The dead cat bristles inside its box.
The live cat curls inside the dead cat’s bones.
Galaxies roll through unimagined zones.
Uncertain eyes scan light’s divergent tracks.

Inside the box a hammer stuns the flux
And poison flares along the dying tone.
The dead cat bristles inside its box.
The live cat curls inside the dead cat’s bones

For what might be seconds, might be eons,
While atoms ricochet through space like jacks,
And what is is woven through the helix
Of what’s not. Is it here or is it gone,

The dead cat bristling inside its box?
A live cat curls inside the dead cat’s bones.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured poems. For more of these, click here!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan


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