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Issue 1.1 

Summer 2021

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.

Some Days Everyone Is Well Concealed


Some days everyone is well       concealed by their assumptions.   

Then maybe an ambulance       siren. Too close. It squeezes       

all of you together. As     fear siphons off a little

more anonymity. So     you turn in unison glad  

for the others near you. Feel      a communal breath taken

and released. The siren is       a dormant virus again.

When you turn the corner. Walk       a block. Here are five people

in line at the ATM      so separately together—

requires a vigilance      easy to mistake for calm.

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 Book Recommendations

authors/books i'm currently 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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