Cal Freeman

              Castor Fiber, Avicularia, Typhlops (2014) | Danielle Rosen

              Castor Fiber, Avicularia, Typhlops (2014) | Danielle Rosen


after Paul Klee


I had meant to be the eye
grounded in the pink;

I had meant to be my own

squinting out the yellow folds
around the eye and

slumbering into me
as she had once before;

it seemed like years.
I had meant to say “before”

as though to segment this
but the lines from here to before

curled up
like spent match sticks.

I was pressed with thumbprints
over a winding wheel;

I meant to be
the little chalice from which

my mother drank, the taste
of blood in her mouth,

the gaunt horse
she didn’t have the heart to ride,

its crooked back, withers
jutting sideways from its neck,

such a broken hat rack
of a horse.

Epistle to a Tabellarius


Dear slaving long roads
      hour of ink on ephemeral pulp
accordion shut the leaf bark

when you set out
   ligatures in wax open
to the eyes of the republic

dear palimpsestic greeting
       SPD dear evanescent
in wax

dear ampersand hashtag
       pound and pounding feet
on adverbial stone

dear republic of tongues
      wagging like broken
saddle straps dear

abbreviating virus
  our words hover
over you like whispers

transmissions of wars
    we execute
            but never



Cal Freeman was born and raised in Detroit.  His writing has appeared in many journals including Berfrois, The Drunken Boat, The Paris-American, The Cortland Review, and Rattle.  He has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in both poetry and creative nonfiction.  His first book of poems, Brother of Leaving, has just been published by Antonin Artaud Publications.  He currently lives in Dearborn, MI and teaches at Oakland University.