Some Assembly Required

Dan Raphael

“I was a carpet before I was an onion”

Frank Sauce


when I started inventorying my parts

ones with unknown functions, parts

that could be spun but not removed

parts repeated in various locations of my body

connected or not, communicating or not

only appearing to be the same


parts pretending to be involved

a few seemingly on the wrong body or

in the wrong place, exiled perhaps, whimsically distributed

parts that take weekends off, parts that only appear

when wet or far from home, when I’ve fasted two days


a part that disappears when I need it most

an inert part that suddenly activates

parts that shed their skin, change colors, attract

hummingbirds and bees, parts that refuse to be covered

that only wake up when I sleep, parts revealed to me

in dreams or under stress


parts that never fit together before

parts grown into or out of, parts on back order,

they don’t make that anymore,  parts left in the rain

throw this part away and a new one will grow in its  place

invasive parts, extraneous parts, I’ve never seen

a part like this


I added this 20 years ago, I invented this

when I couldn’t sleep for two days

parts that appear when I’m over 10,000 feet high

parts sensitive to wi fi, to the scents of garlic and wet wool,

no part I haven’t shown someone

parts I haven’t thought of for years, dozens of  parts

have been given to me but only three I kept



Dan Raphael's poetry collection In the Wordshed was published by Last Word Press last December. More recent works appear in Moss Piglet, Lothlorienm Otoliths, Cafe Review and Impspired. Most Wednesdays Dan writes and records a current events poem for The KBOO Evening News.