Brendan Walsh


to describe orange in relation
to other orange things, say
a sunset and a mango, monk’s
robe and a gull’s beak,

doesn’t reveal anything to someone
who has never seen orange.
i can’t explain how i think,
only that I think, and it is awful.

just as no one will tell you,
definitively, where in the brain
consciousness lives, only that it does,
and that it goes away too, though

they also can’t tell you this for sure.
our great mystery is not an answer,
but how to keep going despite
the answer’s inadequacy.

and no, the answer is not orange.
it isn’t a symbol. it doesn’t wrap up
neat and gorgeous—an image, a hope,
a gasp at the egret spearing minnows.

we’re missing a certain sustenance:
a long gone unwritable something.
so there. poetry is useless.
i can finally rest for a while.

Brendan Walsh has lived and taught in South Korea, Laos, and South Florida. His work has recently appeared in Rattle, Glass Poetry, Indianapolis Review, American Literary Review, Baltimore Review, Maine Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and other journals. He is the author of six collections of poetry, including Buddha vs. Bonobo (Sutra Press) and fort lauderdale (Grey Book Press). His latest collection, concussion fragment, winner of the 2020 elsewhere chapbook contest, was released in February 2022. He is co-host of the Fat Guy, Jacked Guy podcast with Stef Rubino. He’s online at

Thank you for reading Vol. 1, No. 1