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Published: Sat Jul 1 2006
Art by Jin Suk
Brought to Us By

: 3 p.m. mercies of high tea, high
holy days, and midnight illegal smokes
on a balcony. By the slipperiness of our dead
and a streetlight we’d shoot out if it
weren’t already shot. By a black Mercedes grinding
into a wrong gear. By Out-of-the-City one day
and Into-It-Quite-Deeply the next.

Traveled & trafficked, holed up and let loose,
we’re here as fireballs, there as tapped-out beats
on a telegraph. By Nothing To Do vying with
Everything To Do. By special dispensations,
no-guts no-glory, Quaaludes, a ménage a trois,
and stories we’ve messed up and passed on. By stars
loose against our tight flesh. By rowing toward
the end of a dream. By vast black harbors, and before them,
by the vertical spirit slamming into the horizontal sky.

Nance Van Winckel is the author of nine poetry collections, the newest of which is The Many Beds of Martha Washington (Lynx House Press, forthcoming 2021), and five books of fiction, including Ever Yrs, a novel in the form of a scrapbook (Twisted Road Publications, 2014), and Boneland: Linked Stories (University of Oklahoma Press, 2013). She teaches in Vermont College’s MFA in Writing Program and is visual poetry editor of Poetry Northwest. Her writing has appeared in the Pushcart Prize anthology, The Southern ReviewAGNIPoetry Northwest, The Kenyon ReviewFIELDThe American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. The recipient of two NEA poetry fellowships, the Washington State Book Award, the Paterson Fiction Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Gordon Barber Poetry Award, a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship, and three Pushcart Prizes, she lives in Spokane, Washington. (updated 04/2021)

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