| Feature || Poetry ||Chapbook

Bank Fifteen

In every backyard

A peacock

Or some green nonsense


What rifles report from her far-flung states


Bank Seven

Tit for tat

Your border gives in

                   Under the wet awning, a bomb

Or something

We think—

                  We were animals



Hourly / Daily


The legwork done

By lesser organs of the afternoon

Lies hard on the world

Where are organs permitted

Conditions like this?

Is there someone

Committing the city? Someone in plaid

Drew a knife from the ham saying, “this one”

The organs commanded, my father has done it

Again when a man

Sulks down the aisle

Making cake, and lush greenery




nowhere and nowhere concerned

with your welfare

albeit a strange one

The doll looks on.

With a plush human face

the fowl looks on.

Wings over water anticipate


In threes, by the porcelain toes


This is the glassed-in city,

these are its gates.

This tiny hand

is the gatekeeper’s wife

in a gesture of solace

unlikely, unlikely,

the sound of her voice.


what good is she then
wearing lightweight combs

in her hair in the v-shaped
valley, then far

from the v-shaped valley
on fire: the field

plus everything wood

in the world
what glorified branch reads

“one limb lost from another”
among the tall grasses

the prairie distracts her

from bellowing Mary
whose bloodlines Ruth

has eschewed for some
twenty-nine years

in the storm shack
pulling her hair down


not the thought
of her drowning in that

but the other, that peerless contraption


This is life on a cooling planet,

I guess,

Marguerite says. Help me,

I’m shaking.

She sings of star-crossed lovers

horizontally stacked in the past, herself

being one of a set. Help me,

it hurts. She says it is burning

but pleasant.

The crowd cries back:

This is life on a cooling planet,

I guess. If it has no soul

then it has no soul.


Photo Copyright © Thomas A. Garver

Laura Sims’s first book of poetry, Practice, Restraint, was the recipient of the 2005 Fence Books Alberta Prize. She is also the author of three chapbooks: Bank Book (Answer Tag Press, 2004), Paperback Book (3rd Bed, 2006), and List (Bronze Skull Press, 2006). She has received two Pushcart Prize nominations for her poems, and was awarded First Prize in the 2004 Summer Literary Seminars Writing Contest, which provided a one-month residency in St. Petersburg, Russia. She was recently awarded a Japan-US Friendship Commission / NEA Creative Artist Exchange Fellowship, and will spend six months in Japan in 2006. Individual poems have appeared in the journals First Intensity, 26, How2, 6X6, La Petite Zine, Columbia Poetry Review, jubilat, LIT, Boston Review, Indiana Review, and 3rd Bed, among others. Her book reviews and essays have been published in Boston Review, Jacket, Rain Taxi, and the Review of Contemporary Fiction. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she curates the Felix Reading Series at UW-Madison. She teaches creative writing and composition at UW-Madison, Edgewood College, and Madison Area Technical College.