Winter Has Gotten So Big We Need Special Mirrors To See Around It

“The Weather” and “Barricades,” two poems by Bennet Bergman

Issue №17


Today it arrived in an unapologetic parcel.
I had decided to wait for it in bed

because it was taking so long,
it was February already.

Because I slept through the rain,
I didn’t know it had rained.

Meanwhile winter has gotten so big we need
special mirrors to see around it.

I don’t need to do things over and over again
before I know that I don’t need to do them anymore.

Didn’t need many nights to understand for example
the boredom of having sex with strange men.

There is a card game to teach you that,
how to deduce a pattern from any set.

But the weather does
subject us to repetition.

It arrives obliviously, as if we have
not already had some of that.

When I open it up —
what has come for me —

it is as anyone would have expected a cool bit
of iron ore, a sad anniversary.

I am going to loiter in the shower while it gets
dark out. Run my head through my hands.


Each time he rose from bed before me in the morning to rinse
his face with cold water I wondered what he had done it for:
whether it was vanity, whether

this was unattractive to me. He would come back to bed
with water in his beard, mouth tasting like toothpaste,
eyes not so stopped with sleep.

He once said to someone else at a party that when he was
younger he had wanted to be in porn movies,
but Tel Aviv was such a small city. This

killed me. He had such a way of bringing exteriors
into the room with us, even when we had
lived together for many months

he would play these little shadow scenes of betrayal
across my imagination and always they were
painterly and robust:

how in the checkout aisle with our groceries he, looking
out the window at a man on the street, says brightly
but not to me, “I know him,”

and I know what he means. A unique feature of our life
together was that all its walls could be rolled down
like windows or thought of as not to exist.

As if you were just sitting in the kitchen when
the siding of your house was made
suddenly to face in;

you might think, How strange, that I am not outside
but somehow the outside
has come here.

About the Author

Bennet Bergman lives in New York and will soon be an MFA student in poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. These are his first published poems.

About the Recommended Reading and the Commuter

The Commuter publishes here every other Monday, and is our home for flash and graphic narrative, and poetry. Recommended Reading is the weekly fiction magazine of Electric Literature, publishing every Wednesday morning. In addition to featuring our own recommendations of original, previously unpublished fiction, we invite established authors, indie presses, and literary magazines to recommend great work from their pages, past and present. For access to year-round submissions, join our membership program on Drip, and follow Recommended Reading on Medium to get every issue straight to your feed. Recommended Reading is supported by the Amazon Literary Partnership, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For other links from Electric Literature, follow us, or sign up for our eNewsletter.

“The Weather” and “Barricades” are published here by permission of the author, Bennet Bergman. Copyright © Bennet Bergman 2018. All rights reserved.

More Like This

12 Books That Bridge the Natural and Human Worlds

We’re not separate from the world that surrounds us but an essential part of the environment

Sep 1 - Dennis James Sweeney

Maggie Smith Finds Beauty in the Dissolution of Her Marriage

The poet on her memoir "You Could Make This Place Beautiful" and letting go without forgiving

Jul 10 - Hoda Mallone

I Am Dionysus Fresh Out of Rehab

Two poems by Anthony Thomas Lombardi

Sep 12 - Anthony Thomas Lombardi
Thank You!