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Heidi Lynn Staples was a recipient of the New Issues Poetry Prize for Guess Can Gallop, her debut collection of poems. Her second collection, Dog Girl, has been selected by Carolyn Forche for publication by Ahsahta press. Staples was born in Dade county, Florida and holds degrees from the University of Georgia, where she studied psychology, and Syracuse University, where she studied poetry. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2004, Denver Quarterly, LIT, and 3rd bed. Coeditor of the literary annual Parakeet, she teaches writing at Syracuse University and lives in Syracuse, New York with her husband, two dogs, cat and bird. 





a horizon not known for its snow 
its show flung between us rung its bell

shaped flashes arc across the sky

               caused by the explosive expansion of 

two kids who donít know what lies
ahead -- or is this more than 100 thunderstorms

per year, with a peak frequency
from broken-homes. 

a horizon open and umbrella-like;
                                               the stars, like

his starts, his thrusting, our trusting and
the full moon, rise at sunset

and set at dawn. it is highest in the sky
across his back, shining on his head like

extreme winds sent the lakeís waters

over surrounding levees.


i went to see her, arriving self-satisfied as the one 

who settled his family here sometime in the 1830's.

i didnít understand, for me life was a sleepy little fishing village 

until the east pass was bridged. i didnít know that in her 
                body formed the future and the future requires fire 
for release of its seeds,

that the future is patented and listed as real-estate 

that lake flooding during hurricanes in the late 1920ís
                caused almost 2,500 deaths; subsequently, a dike was built
                around the lake, disrupting the flow of water into 
                                               the Everglades.

i brought her cookies, asked how are you feeling?
when she didnít answer, when she looked out the window, 

i said, letís make this hospital bed look like a beach towel.

she lay there, wrapped in white 
                a doomed fish fresh from the wholesale market. 



it was a going to mass. the quiet beaches
                of south walton announcing the end times.

land the end times now rolling in

its "miracle strip" crammed with classic boardwalk

and junk satisfaction. if cruising the strip. then dancing
the clubs. skinning up a j. nookie. neon 

something now under the sun.

aches of beaches, pinewoods, and marshes more 
or less suntouched to swim pier fish or hike 
the dunes along clearly
                                                                marked nature

trails. not only myself but of the collective.
a barrier island that offers some of the best shelling.

an artifical reef creates a calm, shallow play area



Call quiver flanks 
In flew the Laud, or wing is rood: or is marked green
Cleansed doors of
Are's shiver. Caul river flicks 
Din flew the Gauze of saws: or is marked green and's doors 
Agape. All ever flocks to the Laud of Lauds: or is marked 
Sing and's door of are's fever.


Reborn is bright shaker; sigh shroud gnat ant. 
Emigrated stream 
Dew bright dawn wind 

Metaphors: me read of stream reside the stellar
Are tours.
Please ray stars of bright 
Lull: me read of stream wind the laughs of bright lush yes
Err is flame's wake.


Ache a playful gloss sun too the Soar
No oil glands. Swerve the Soar with stabs fish:
Home free soar lit's prescience with 
Inner wing. Nowling that the Soar sea is Sod
Nit is sea that heat wades lush, and knot 
Green flower spells; weed flowers this peaceful, 
And's the shape of departure.






copyright © Heidi Lynn Staples