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Richard Loranger

Untitled selections from Sudden Windows

And clouds roll in and I am glad, for autumn rain smells like the start of everything. And darksome days are time for all the dust to settle, sweet sweet the air and safe to open chest to amity. When trees drink clouds and dry ground soaks and we can sense effulgence down the road, how can we not enjoy the dropping of all things and the sleek sweep of pungent breeze? I'd like to lie down in the street and shine.


Early plum is bitter, early rose is tart, April light roves from sharp to glow as the month matures. Fleeting rain pelts the windows, then lifts infused with jasmine and fresh grass. Bougainvillea stuns. Clouds break, and the softest breeze strokes the arms and face. All the air sublime. Sometimes we need profundity, and sometimes just a lavender day.


I take myself to task, and find a tisane in the tin shack mine. The method to divine adumbra of the swale's lost path is simply one of sniffing rasped grass. We are never truly lost until we find ourselves bereft of cause—no green, under air, dry as dirty docks. And even then the thirst might eek us out, the rancid grain slake need for friction so the loose shoot may flail. May tendril on. We soar on tin lid sleds and take the dawn. And in the meantime, watching from our table the adept bright rain, we take to task, wrap hands around sweet steam.


Let me smack the sun, bash the wind, for I would fill my heart with rain until the smiling end of time. Just to hear that pat on the roof and crack on the panes makes my body warm, charged electric and ready for life. How I long for it. I need it! I am doing a rain dance with every breath, I gather the water, beckon cloud, dismiss occlusion and bring it all in—we will stand face-up in the spray, the pour, come lover, we will stretch out our arms in the drench, come love, we will leap all pores open and drink you, and you will drink us, and we will become the stream that we are, and pour onward in joy over rocks and shame and into the churning basin of stars.


My heart's a snowball rolling downhill and holy shit what a tumble. It's a mudslide, a runaway train, a blast furnace off its struts. It flips and scatters everywhere, through and around, and keeps on flipping. It gobbles forests and gnaws the foundations of this city. It cracks the infrastructure, it laughs to topple towers. It's splitting hairs, it chases the tail off a goose, it's walking into your parlor with a gate-cracking grin. It says, Hello, I'm a comet, and tears your house away. It's voracious, it's a goddamn glutton for everything, it's a shrike, a kamikaze cannibal, a metamorph tsunami and it's breaking on February with a mouth of flame.

From Sudden Windows, by Richard Loranger (Zeitgeist Press).

Richard Loranger is a writer, performer, and visual artist. His brand new collection of brief flash prose pieces is Sudden Windows; he's also the author of Poems for Teeth, The Orange Book, and nine chapbooks, including 6 Questions, with artwork by Bill Mercer, and Hello Poems. His work has appeared in over ninety magazines and journals, and twenty-three anthologies. He has given over 400 featured readings, and has been a member of several music and performance groups, including Conspiracy of Beards and The High Risk Group in San Francisco and Performance Art Church in Austin and New York. He lives in Oakland, California; for more information visit

— posted July 2016

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