Corey Mesler: Two Poems
I May Look Like Robert Frost but I Feel Like Jesse James | Someone Gone is Calling Me
I May Look Like Robert Frost but I Feel Like Jesse James
The pen is mightier than the sore.
When I heft it the house grows quiet.
It grows quiet in the basement, with little light,
and the moisture of our tears. The house
knows too much to argue or to judge. I look
at the pen in my fist, fingers curled
into claws. It catches the light like an outlaw,
it tells me the jail is only my mind.
I love the pen, full of the blood of saints. All
who have gone before me. I let them go.
My mind is also the holster. And, friend, the gun is you,
for reading this, for feigning affection.
Someone Gone is Calling Me
Tell me what it is to dangle, the master says.
The movement is like breath
and like breath
it sometimes comes up short.
There is little passage.
Locked in a cage of bone, stiff
like a lath, the house
around me ticks, its very found-
I reach out for you. I forget I am
alone. I forget to breathe.
You are never there.
Corey Mesler's poetry and prose have been published in Paumanok Review, Poet Lore,
Rattle, Dicey Brown, Cranky, Re)verb, StorySouth, Arkansas Review, Turnrow, Rhino,
and others, and in a number of anthologies. He is the author of four chapbooks,
the most recent of which, The Heart is Open, is due from Mayapple Press later
this year. One of his short stories was chosen for the 2002 edition of New
Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, edited by Shannon Ravenel. His
novel-in-dialogue, Talk, was published by Livingston Press in 2002,
and received rave reviews from Lee Smith, Robert Olen Butler, and Frederick Barthelme.
His next novel, We are Billion-Year-Old Carbon, is also from Livingston Press.
He and his wife own Burke’s Book Store, one of the country’s oldest (1875)
and best independent bookstores.