Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Poem by Joan Colby

August 25 -- Heat

Grandiose with humidity
Leaves sag with absorption
Like a woman faced
With decisions.  The streets
Bleed, gunshots pepper a night
Of incensed temper.  Heat clouds immovable
Windows painted shut for centuries.
You understand why disease
Proliferates in such climates.
Missionaries on their knees
Tending the stricken.  Here it's simply
A phase of a season that ends
In crescendos.  In the cooled rooms,
Everything is dark and abnormal,
Oxygen flayed into ribbons.
What you breathe rankles
Like the heavy effusions
That still the trees
And silence the birds.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner.  Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature.  She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review's James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010).  One of her poems is a winner of the 2014 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest.  She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois.  She has published 14 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press.  Selected Poems received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize.  Properties of Matter, Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books), Bittersweet (Main Street Rag Press), The Wingback Chair (FutureCycle Press).  She has two new chapbooks, Ah Clio from  Kattycompus Press and Pro Forma from Foothills Press as well as a full-length collection Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press.  Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press.

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