The Night after You Left
I waited all night
for God to touch me
with his finger,
an electric torch.
I waited because you
were gone and
you would not return
with your body
white as a dove.
When dawn came I was
nor happy. I wrote
you a letter.
I still have it
here, decades later.
This morning I
so soft it seemed money,
and I did not
recognize my own words.
What I did see though,
for the first time,
was the face of God,
there between my
terrible consonants and verbs.
Colloquy in the Void
He said, it’s quiet here without God.
I said, isn’t it cold, the way
your hand touches nothing.
He said, I used to know a man who
could talk his way into sleepwalking.
He said, I used to know ways
to get women to stroke me.
I said, isn’t it quiet here without hands.
He said, God, I used to know you.
I said, don’t talk anymore. He said, yes,
let’s be quiet. Let’s watch it all end.
From afar, like a note held too long,
because there is no other way,
I wanna rubber you. I wanna take you
in like a stiff drink. I wanna
carpe your diem. Let me, just for now,
undo that red dress, redress
my lack of balance, lift your body as
if it were pure spirit. From afar,
because it’s all I have left, let
me scan you, my raging face, my best
love letter, let me write you
into this scene. My amblyopia,
my distant scar, my alleviation, my afar.
I have published prose and/or poetry in Turnrow, Adirondack Review, American Poetry Journal, Paumanok Review, Yankee Pot Roast, Monday Night, Elimae, H_NGM_N, The Journal of Experimental Fiction, Poet Lore, Forklift OH, Euphony, Rattle, Jabberwock Review, Dicey Brown, Cordite, Cellar Door, others.
I have two novels from Livingston Press: Talk: a Novel in Dialogue (2002) and We are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2007). My novels received nice blurbs from Lee Smith, Robert Olen Butler, Steve Stern, Debra Spark, Suzanne Kingsbury, Frederick Barthelme, Marshall Chapman, George Singleton and John Grisham, among others. I also published 5 chapbooks in 2006, with 4 more due in 2007. My first full-length collection of poems, Some Identity Problems, is due out from Foothills Publishing, in 2007; and my short story collection, Listen: 29 Short Conversations, is due from Blaze Vox Books. My poem, “Sweet Annie Divine,” was chosen for Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. I have been nominated for the Pushcart numerous times.
I’ve been a book reviewer, fiction editor, university press sales rep, grant committee judge, father and son. With my wife I own Burke’s Book Store, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. I can be found at www.coreymesler.com.