The men bring petals to their lovers while staying loyal to their wives; here come
our flames, they’ll teach us latticework,
Which is labor, a job we quit long ago. There’s only two virtues worth cultivating:
magnificence and grace.
Or we worked super hard on our symmetry, our dark brown eyes, unique among
fairywrens for looking alike,
men and women so exactly fireworked.
We warn all the other birds, everyone understands our songs. My wife tells me I shall not respect frames,
she sings frames are extra stupid.
Then be in the torsion of montane forests, utopias or carnivals you find ways to come home.
All those there’s are here’s.
Hugh Behm–Steinberg’s books include The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press) and Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) as well as several chapbooks including Sorcery (Dusie Chapbook Kollektiv) and Good Morning! (Deconstructed Artichoke Press). His most recent chapbook is The Sound of Music (Dusie Chapbook Kollektiv).
He is the author of two libretti: Terrible Things Will Happen But It’s Going to Be Okay: A Donner Party Opera with composer Guillermo Galindo, and a children’s opera based on the Chinese folktale, The Clever Wife, which was commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera for their Opera to Go series.
Behm–Steinberg collaborates on text/sound art projects with Matt Davignon under the bandname Oa. Their first album, Oa, was released on Edgetone Records in February 2015. He is currently collaborating with his wife on an illuminated manuscript reworking of Farid ud-Din Attar’s 12th Century Sufi masterpiece The Conference of the Birds.
In 2015 his short story Taylor Swift won the Barthelme Prize for short fiction. He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in creative writing at Stanford University and the recipient of an NEA fellowship.
He is a member of the Unranked Faculty Collective Bargaining Team at California College of the Arts, where he edits the journal Eleven Eleven.