Fall 2015, Volume 19

Poetry by Doug Anderson


Not the sideways rain that whips against the windows
but a steady garden-soaking murmur:  would I were that
and not the shivering heath-walker with fork-lit heart.
There the horses crop the meadow as before,
but soaked, enjoying this respite from the flies.
Listen:  a rivulet in the tangle of the slope, and a bird,
even in this, pings and primps.  It’s been a while
since I’ve lain awake with her, skin to skin and wordless.

Poetry Reading

He looks like a bored child in church, longing to range
outside in the meadow, in the stream, anywhere but here
at this poetry reading to which his wife has flogged him.
Mind still raw from the board meeting, the backstabbing
the intrigue, the affair gone wrong sitting across the table
by the coffee urn and now here he is among people
who think this stuff is manna from heaven.  If I could only,
he thinks, sleep with my eyes open, smile in all the right places,
if only someone would pull the fire alarm, and so he slumps
in his chair and inhales the several perfumes of the tribe.
But one line, somewhere in the middle of the first poem
has him sitting up, his spine infused with light.  She said,
Finally we are together in the departure lounge,
sorting through our things, wondering what to take into
the dark, and our nakedness comes back to us whole,
and all we have loved spills out of the baggage at our feet.


            Note: Both poems are from Doug Anderson's new book, Horse Medicine (Barrow Street Press, 2015).




BIO: Doug Anderson's book The Moon Reflected Fire won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and he has received a number of fellowships, including from the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches in the department of comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.