Corey Mesler
Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published two novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002) and We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006), a full length poetry collection, Some Identity Problems (2008), and a book of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations (2009). He also has two novels set to be published in the Spring of 2010, The Ballad of the Two Tom Mores (Bronx River Press) and Following Richard Brautigan (Livingston Press). He has also published a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor?s Writer?s Almanac. He also claims to have written, ?In the Year 2525.?  With his wife, he runs Burke?s Book Store, one of the country?s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He can be found at

Two Poems (Issue 30.)

Two Poems (Issue 14.)

Five Poems (Issue 2.)


Two Poems (August 20, 2011. Issue 30.)

In My Dreams Rebecca Hall

Comes out of the jungle,
barefoot, as my
dream is barefoot, unsure
of its next step,
just as easily slipping into
warm sapropel
as treading on an asp.
Rebecca Hall comforts me
with her warm klezmer voice,
her rich lips, her eyes like
the light off gems.
She does this because I am
the last man.
Everyone else perished from
excess civilization, a little
gin, a little Portland cement.
In my dream Rebecca Hall
is there at the wind-up, a light
like a new entry, like a threshold.

Way Fairer

"My life was going to be, and already was,
a shore set adrift."
--Rafael Alberti

I set out. The setting out
was as important
as the far-flung intention.
I took provisions.
I had apples that could
cause men to cough up blood.
I had spices which women
use to make snakes of mud.
And, in the part of the boat,
where no sun shone,
I kept my shadow in a box
made of myrrh and
mane. I set out with the in-
tention of sewing that
shadow to a soul,
one that would carry me a-
way from myself,
from this need to wander,
and this need to make
of the world an informal atlas.

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Two Poems (February 20, 2009. Issue 14.)

Again Lita

She was my first kiss.
It was in a game
at an 8th grade party.
On my death bed
I plan on asking her
to bring me full circle.
In between I have
had many lovers, two
wives, two children.
My life has been complete.
At times I think it
has been complete.
I wrote a book of poems
about her, about the
one intimate moment we
shared in front of the
entire 8th grade class.
She answered my phone
call with the voice
that over the years
has come to seem like
paradise to me. “Hello,
sap,” she said. I wrote
it down. That’s why it,
like you, is part of this.


You placed your ankles
on my shoulders
as I entered you.
It was quite a trick.
You were an athlete, a killer
softball shortstop.
Your legs were strong as
the mainstay of the
laboring bark.
I was younger then, still
entirely flummoxed by your
incandescent beauty.
You left me, of course, and
before you did you
undermined my confidence
with your diffident, dying
love. That’s the
way the story is written. That’s
its power, as story, as dream.
Still, I have that image,
your legs so open I thought I
would be welcome forever, forever.

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Five Poems (March 26, 2009. New Moon. Issue 2)
I'm locked inside with myself again.
I cover the mirrors with paintings.
I open the drapes because the doctor
told me to. I open the door but only
wide enough for djinns to enter.
I open my mouth and begin to sing.
I sing the song you taught me, the
one that begins, O terrible human heart!
I will try to tell you the simple thing.
I will not reach for the thesaurus (a
reference book of words that
mean the same thing). I will slide the
note under your door while
you are away. When you find it its
simplicity will appeal to you
in simple ways. I will pretend that
this is how love starts, and poetry
(the art of rhythmical composition). 
I want to sing the way
our dog sings,
notes that pay attention,
notes that hang
in the air like incense.
I want to know her song
and why she waited
until she was old to begin it.
I want to sing the song.
that she knows, the one
of approaching quietus.
I wanted to seduce you without metaphor.
I wanted to watch real-world clothing
flutter away to the hard wood floor.
I wanted to take fasteners in my teeth and
spit them out. I wanted all this as if I
had never written a poem or hidden behind
a pilcrow. Instead I compared you to
a simmering day, one where I could not write
but only writhe in simple human craving. 
And so I read Chekhov,
putting in the hours,
following his lead
through the labyrinths of
the human heart.
And so I read Chekhov
and then rested.
I was late coming to him;
he hit me like a swarm.
Something echoed,
and again echoed.
I set the book aside to rest.
The book sat by me
and hummed like a small
engine. Quietly, with
dark clarity, it said my name. 

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The Legendary