Daniel Barnum | Names for Animals

Barnum_Names for Animals_web

Names for Animals. Poems by Daniel Barnum, selected as Number 22 in the Robin Becker Chapbook Series.

Publication:  March 7, 2020 [100 copies]
29 pages, 6 5/8″ x 8 1/8″
ISBN 978-1-949333-65-7
$ 9.00 + $2 shipping


Daniel Barnum lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio, where they serve as the associate managing editor of The Journal. Their poems, essays, and translations  appear in or are forthcoming from Pleiades, The Offing, Cutthroat, West Branch, The Massachusetts Review, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere.


The Shake-up

then there’s the final nightmare of your origin  
story. this place is substitution, the house
containing multitudes, everyone you descend  
from, now gathered to initiate you into your own  
secret heaven. whether you return to earth 
or not, the corpse is yours. do what thou wilt  
with whatever’s left, I mean . . . some days I swear   
I catch the planet on autocorrect, fine-tuning 
its tilt. remember when the east coast quake hit  
six summers ago? where I was in the copy 
shop, all of us strangers present could only fix  
eyes with each other and shut up. customers   
waiting ignored their phones and business 
altogether stopped while we listened to seismic 
shudders sound from everywhere around us,  
not knowing what the fuck. I thought a tractor  
trailer truck must have gone by fast enough  
to buzzsaw bedrock with its metal mass. way 
off, but just like that — suddenly, something  
enormous and you hope someone looks back. 


–Thank you to Barrow Street for first publishing this poem.

  • Order Daniel’s chapbook here. Thank you for supporting this poet!
  • Read Daniel’s new poem, “To Love Somebody,” in Bear Review.