I’m looking for something that isn’t there,
and out of the trees the rain comes singing
down a bucket of years. Let be, say the whispering trees
to the possessive wind moving its liquid bed of sand
from one house to another. That world ended,
but out there was the hereafter. Oh sorry luck, I was happy,
and as the water overtook us, we argued
about the water overtaking us.
I Believe it was Dorothy Who Produced My Children
Everywhere I go I’m the slow kid with the grin beginning—
dried monsters on toast, even my love’s in little grooves.
Here’s a whiteness to repeat it, whiteness to fear,
a colour aloof in the ear of household pleasantries.
The latch rewards the fence, which otherwise goes merely
warm, an adventure of fetching.
Freakishly large, I’m left behind,
lost milk on a night of lost dogs,
false air discharged from the hospital of its fleas.
It seems to place one hand on top of the other.
It has no hands and these
are not my kind of people, these stairs.
These are not my naked toesy feet.
These are not two deaths bothering
each until there’s three, but
several of them invented me.
We stopped one on the road, entertaining.
Other children were present as information.
More rain bundled in collapsing coverage.
An evacuation arrived all boned and stubbled under.
Could you please comfort me excessively?
Reality’s always doing something rude and necessary.
Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily, and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. His story collection, The Balloon Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking, was one of five finalists for the 2009 Starcherone Innovative Fiction Prize. In 2010, he has been a finalist in fiction at Black Warrior Review and Mississippi Review and in poetry at Cloudbank and Mississippi Review. In 2011, he is again a finalist in poetry at Mississippi Review. The spring 2011 Bitter Oleander contains a feature including an interview and eighteen of his hybrid works.