Benjamin Landry

Rabid Schematic
           [I]nfection rates in randomly-selected members of naturally
          occurring bat populations range from only about one in 1,000
          (0.1%) to about one in 200 (0.5 %) […R]abid bats do not usually
          become enraged and attack people or other animals.  Rather, 
          they become paralyzed and die quietly.
                                 —In Ohio’s Backyard: Bats (Belwood)
Klaus Kinsky will not stay away
             from the domestic space
you cannot take your eyes
             off of Kinsky he’s a plague
finally Bruno Ganz is infected
             with the soul of Kinsky
watch him hypnotize the servant
             into clearing away
the ring of holy wafer crumbs
after the credits I go to stand
             on the back porch under
             a motion-sensing light
and wonder is breathing enough
             to keep it going
is the thing to be feared inside
             or out    two darknesses
overlap in a Venn Diagram
             the intersection almost
             laughably grave as though
even the thing to be feared must
             become paralyzed and die quietly 

Two Nocturnal Figures in a Field

One brother said to the other,
these teeth will not sow themselves;
             down with their fingers
             like taproots,
             they bit in.
They figured
             (the night was folding
             up its wings, now)
they figured
             (the sun
             was just rising)
they figured
             (they would make peace,
             break bread)
they figured
             (they would break
             into pieces)
they figured
             (they would piece
             together, later).
But first they had to make the rain arrive,
first they had to take up parts in a song for rain.
Or was it blood?
A spatter of notes,
it was hard to tell. 

From the Author: These two poems are part of a manuscript, currently titled Dis-/appear, written against the backdrop of ecological disaster, the disappearance of North American bats as a result of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS).

Benjamin Landry is the author of Mercies in the American DesertBurn LyricsParticle and Wave and An Ocean Away.  His work has appeared in The New YorkerKenyon ReviewPloughshares and elsewhere.  He has received Pushcart nominations and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. He teaches creative writing at SUNY Potsdam and serves as the Guest Poetry Editor of Saranac Review. Catch up with his current projects at