Trilobite is an arthropodologist's delight:
many bizarre creatures; no two alike.


David Hadbawnik


Slack in the ribbon the winner bursts through

and relaxes but it wasn’t a real

race there was nobody else running he

or she is alone wearing baggy pants

arms raised in the rain hungry having won

nothing but a swift kick in the – then the

sun comes out licks the surface of the path

the solitary runner had gone down

fighting through unspeakable pain worse than

counting breaths for a dying man (or wo

man) in an emergency room where the

nurse a distance runner herself (or him

self) bends down to listen maybe record

last words or mop away sweat from the brow


I was pumped up he was pumped up she was

he was he pinned him to the wall and said

are you pumped up I am pumped up she said

hey why don’t you leave him be but felt a

slight jolt in her legs as he held him there

are you pumped up now she had to say yes

kind of I am but he shook his head at

the other who smiled yes I’m pumped up he

hissed through clenched teeth the man’s lips pressed tight to

shut up the first man said I don’t care if

you’re pumped up this is my show I want to

see if she’s pumped up and they’re pumped up not

if you are or that one or those far off

yes I’m pumped up oh I’m pumped up yes I’m


Death when we encountered it there in

the room all of a piece being recounted

startled us and we went our separate

ways while he stayed behind with it alone

in the room ‘back there’ as Death always is

and I walked on uncertain knowing it

would come with me a little way before

breaking off returning to the one who

must sit with it look at it even hold

onto it for a spell until such time

as another must come to occupy

that space so I walked up the stairs while the

other lingered behind in conversation

closing the door or leaving it open


I used to care about things like sunsets

and politics and winning but now I

know it’s all bunk nobody wins nothing

is worth fighting for we’re plunged into this

struggle against our will we force ourselves

smaller and the little words carry us

forward on breath in time as song into

the gloomy airs of winter the icy gray

with devastation of skidding right off

having to wait for to beg for help not

being self-sufficient but opening

like a wound weeping puss and infection

to be buried at last but no to be

dug up born again whether want to or


No other way to get me out of myself

to change the dynamic float the tune

won’t whistle itself the pattern forms

on its own but what fills it where are

those giants once roamed breathed into by

high on what fumes in shimmering fields

I’ve stretched the band too far let the word

drop from my lips and shatter the distance

too great and a weird hair springs from

my ear how do you relate to what’s

weird and burrows up from under the stagnant

earth where from the ragged and forlorn

the sweet hum comes once again and we

dance giving our limbs to the rolling waves


I’ll sit right here feeling my face go numb

lights flash the moon comes and goes dinosaurs

roam east to west movies are made civilizations

rise and fall all of it fades in relation

to your breath your eyes on my neck my hand

trembles as we turn in a field of our own

making and then the curtains rise did you

ever notice the curve of a lip or a word

a piece of carrion against the white

of a cloud the feel of a steering wheel

on an icy road ah and now music the secret

push against no resistance we fall

into the next scene and accept the applause

of ghosts which is silent chill and profound


Imagine the surprise of waking up

to discover you can’t breathe first one pop

then another floating up up up then

nothing the wife thinks everything’s just fine

the doctor can find nothing wrong but the

lips can’t seem to pull any air into

there’s a faint hiss but the breath fades off like

stepping on pavement that slips from under

grabbing at rope that pulls it all down on

your head remembering days full of blue sky

that filled the lungs with soft light and blood that

sings America the way it flops west like

a turkey trying to land but the air

won’t come it goes blank and sticky inside