Poem: Rich Ives

Illo for Rich Ives's poem.

Sleepwalking an Imaginary Dog

Outside the window leaves seem to be
attending the tree of sleep. I think

this takes place in my foot, but I know that
if my silence had not been previously interrupted,

it would be much harder to kick it. It’s a bit like
waking up early on the day you have nothing to do.

Unarmed and dangerous, the pet children
brush away the part that was my decision.

I might ask one of them, Why are you happy? But
the truly happy one does not understand the question,

and the one who pretends to be happy will explain
without reference to the leash. You don’t seem

to understand people very well, says the happy one,
until someone else’s difficulties become yours.
Rich Ives is a winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander and the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. His book of days, Tunneling to the Moon, is available from Silenced Press, a fiction chapbook, Sharpen, from Newer York Press and Light from a Small Brown Bird, a collection of poems, from Bitter Oleander Press. He is also the winner of the What Books Competition for Fiction and his story collection, The Balloon Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking, has just been released.

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