Three Poems by Corey Mesler

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

neither touched

nor happy. I wrote

you a letter.

I still have it

here, decades later.

This morning I

unfolded it,

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.










My Afar



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



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