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The Poet's Stick

—Corey Mesler

The Poet's Stick

          1. The Poet’s Stick

I took the poet’s sharpened

stick, black as

charcoal, and wrote a

carrion call

that shook the sky for birds.

The poet walked away,

over the hills,

trailing his dying song like a

damaged foot.

I longed to see him again. I

buried the stick in the

roaring heart of the devil’s bog.

          2. The Poet’s Stick, Its Promise

I took the poet’s sharpened

stick, white

like light, and wrote a song

that everyone

could sing. The poet took

me by the neck

and threw his

voice with amazing grace.

The future was never so green.

The future was never so quiet.


COREY MESLER has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South. He has published over 45 books of fiction and poetry. His newest novel, Cock-a-Hoop, is from Whiskey Tit. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On, which won The Memphis Film Prize in 2017. With his wife he runs Burke’s Book Store (est. 1875) in Memphis.

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