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Issue 1.2

Fall 2021
1.2 DK_edited.jpg

Rusty Morrison


This is one of a series of poems that I am writing in seven-syllable segments. A limitation in the form can speak to me about how much I let myself perceive the limitations I inflict upon myself, versus those that are unavoidable in my life. By using a constraining form, I don't just write about limitation, I live inside limitation in the work and then see how I handle it. I experience limitation as event, not aftermath.

Ann Lauterbach points out that the “convergence of subject matter with form releases content.” The form of seven syllables per segment can cause a contentiousness in my use of syntax that forces me to diverge from my more expected trajectories of thought, and so it exposes a content with more contextual resources than I’d had access to.

Prop up an Ironing Board


Prop up an ironing board.    Let its featureless face be      
your mirror. Rub its silence      on your cheeks as rouge until      
they disappear. Now you’ll brave     tearing strips of skin from your
tongue to set loose in wind. What’s     meant is never found rejoins 
Benjamin. He knew the glass      stairs that crack as you descend.
“Shatter” is your frequency.      Find there the zone surrounding
the intoxication wrote      Benjamin where ground is silk.

Rusty Morrison is co-publisher of Omnidawn ( & her five books include After Urgency (won Tupelo’s Dorset Prize) & the true keeps calm biding its story (won Ahsahta’s Sawtooth Prize, James Laughlin Award, N.California Book Award, & DiCastagnola Award). Her recent Beyond the Chainlink was finalist for the NCIB Award & NCB Award). She is a recipient of a Civitella Ranieri fellowship and a recipient of other artist retreat fellowships. She’s currently a fellow, awarded by UC Berkeley Art Research Center’s Poetry & the Senses Program. She teaches and she gives writing consultations. Her website:

Rusty's Recommendations

authors/books I'm excited by:
ATLANTIC DRIFT: an Anthology of Poetry & Poetics
Cleopatra Mathis: AFTER THE BODY

all may seem radically different from each other... but I feel it's important to read widely, and wildly.

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