and the papers reported a tragedy at the high-rise.

Fri 2008.02.01
by brian hefele
drunk on the thin,
high air,
i touched you
but a minute before we died;
we were delirious,
so content and saying
‘i can’t go
and as we tossed small
last-minute words around
we heard a serviceman yell
a rapid-fire mangle of
requests for sanity and
he probably dialed nine-one-one,
but anyhow
we leapt.
a minute before we died,
drunk on the
thin, high air,
i kissed you
and we stared down
at the dizzy street,
at the cars, the kiosks
with striped canvas roofs
that we maybe bought
two hot dogs from
on our very first night out.
and i reminded you that
men and women
do… not… fly.
but softly you smiled
and you went first.
immediately i followed
and from then on
we spent our nights
cozy together
in shrouds.
i have made at least three people cry reading this. i know this is a hard poem, and i have tried to brush this fact off by introducing it with a very plathlike understatement of, ‘this one is just a little love poem,’ at readings. but in honesty, this is really difficult, it’s essentially romanticizing suicide. and that’s not an acceptable idea, though we see it in literature throughout history. pyramus and thisbe each kill themselves by the same sword out of love for one another. but i’m missing context here, and that is because i hate context. i like slices, slivers, moments in time. the reader will establish their own context, their own backstory, or else they won’t and they’ll just think i’m some insane asshole. anyway the whole idea fascinates me, a love so strong that the absolute most important thing is to die together, whatever the surrounding situation may be. this one is still a bit hard even for me to read, but it’s certainly my favorite of my older works.

Occupy Frederick — A Confessional Photoessay in Vignettes

Mon 2012.01.30
by brian hefele

The occupy camp at Jarrel Gray Park

I spent a brief amount of time with the kind activists of Occupy Frederick, during their occupation of a section of Linear Park named Jarrel Gray Park. The experience was incredibly inspiring. This is my story, everything that my brief time with them evoked, told through photos and words.

Read feature article…

11.59pm, inner city gas station.

Tue 2008.01.01
by brian hefele
this is the place where i die,
staring over the back of my
polished red four-door,
eyeing the infinite row
of empty pumps,
barely dipping
in murky shallow nonwhite light.
i see them through a
and i picture a phantom,
six pumps down,
with a handgun beneath his jacket.
but i stand still, staring,
listening to the lub/dub
of carcinogenic blood
through the vapor-lock vein
that tethers
mechanical heart to
mechanical body.
the phantom does not approach,
and he does not move his hand.
i feel my fingers gently pulse
as my heart pushes harder, but
inside… i am calm.
and it is here that i stand waiting,
staring, listening, waiting, until
this pump
this was a very real&hellips; i mean, i was never murdered at a gas station, but i had a very strange foreboding feeling, almost the experience of a premonition, as i was fueling up once. at the time i wrote this, i did indeed drive a red four-door, a 1989 saab 900 in imola red. anyway it was one of those very emotive moments that pushes a feeling deep inside of a person, and i was able to draw this out of that. i’m still pretty pleased with it. i think i did a good job pacing it, and the title as introduction works for me.