I’ve been standing at attention inside my body
I’ve been waiting for the sentence

(the bullets of pain)

what could take my life comes and goes
I’m still standing expectant

(imprisoned in the same traitorous body)

and for incredibly long passages of thick rich time
I put a blindfold on myself and appreciate the odd moments of sound

foreign bodies approaching with their own language
and their own pauses pauses I’ve heard before

(strange new clothing)

which I can see in my thoughts and touch there
tiny winds stir storms too small

to threaten passing with little odor
but odor I struggle to apprehend I know if I remove myself

(the blindfold)

which I believe I can do all this will be gone
I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really even there

it tortures me exquisitely to wonder this
but the answer complicates the silence

(stays a little longer)


Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Dublin Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. In 2011 he received a nomination for The Best of the Web and two nominations for both the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net. He is the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. His book of days, Tunneling to the Moon, is currently being serialized with a work per day appearing for all of 2013 at


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