Autumn Sky Poetry - Number 4

How Language Lets Us Down

How slaughter is
close to laughter.
How defecation is
close to defection.
How a small stone
placed in a garden
looks, briefly,
like a flower, blooming.
How wary becomes war.
How you and I
spent the last hours
wringing our hands,
language a gone
good, deadened.
How and becomes end.

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Corey Mesler

Corey Mesler is the owner of Burke’s Book Store, in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He has published poetry and fiction in numerous journals including Rattle, Pindeldyboz, Quick Fiction, Cranky, Thema, Mars Hill Review, Adirondack Review, Poet Lore and others. He has also been a book reviewer for The Memphis Commercial Appeal and Memphis Flyer. A short story of his was chosen for the 2002 edition of New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, published by Algonquin Books.

Talk, his first novel, appeared in 2002. Nice blurbs from Lee Smith, John Grisham, Robert Olen Butler, Frederick Barthelme, and others. His new novel, We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon, came out in January 2006. It garnered praise from George Singleton, Marshall Chapman, Steve Stern and others. His latest poetry chapbooks are Short Story and Other Short Stories (2006), The Hole in Sleep (2006), The Lita Conversation (2006) and The Agoraphobe’s Pandiculations (2006). His poem, “Sweet Annie Divine,” was chosen for Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. He also claims to have written “Gitarzan.”

Most importantly, he is Toby and Chloe’s dad and Cheryl’s husband. He can be found at www.coreymesler.com.

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© 2006 Corey Mesler