Currently resides in Galesburg, Illinois. He received his M.A. in creative writing from Colorado State Univ. Recent publications include Annetna Nepo, Muse Apprentice Guild and Rio. Other publications in Alba, Big City Lit, Cyber Oasis, Drought, Eleven Bulls, Fish Drum, Identity Theory, Tryst, Niederngasse, Poets Against the War, Snow Monkey Press, Zacatecas Review and Zuzu's Petals Quarterly. Earlier credits include Quarterly West and Writer's Forum (Gerard Manley Hopkins Prize, 1999). He's taught at Carl Sandburg College in philosophy and poetry since 1980, and has a PhD from the University of Denver.


I can’t taste my fear.
I imagine it has something to do
with monotony, as if
hell were an afterlife or dream
in which friends & relatives
are strangers, while heaven
may have been a sunny day—

an icicle dripping from the sill,
a monk’s cell in Boulder.

Wordless I raise and lower
the blind.


Now you take Hermine
(A Winter’s Tale)
: a wave of the sea,
All whose acts are queens ..

The Hopi have no such nouns,
But say the water waving


The Rose Window

In there: the indolent tread of their paws
creates a calm that almost bewilders you;
and then the way that, suddenly, one of the cats
captures your gaze that is straying hither and yon,

takes it, enthralled, into its own great eye--
that gaze which, as if gripped by a whirlpool's
circle, floats for a brief spell, and then
sinks and knows no more of itself--

as this eye, which only appears to rest,
opens and slams shut with a clap like thunder,
and tears your gaze rapt within it into the blood--

just so, the cathedrals' great rose windows
once, long ago, could grip a heart
and tear it out of the darkness to God.

(Translation of Rainer Maria Rilke)

Koppel Interviews Sharon & Arafat

The moon eclipsed by the

Has no effect

On the light of the sun


If the lamp is right next to you, turn it off.
If the lamp is right next to you, turn it on.


Who yokes the Great Matter to some imputation?
How can the rabbit glisten in rain, cleaning her paw?

If she regard you with her clear eye,
How shall you say anything?


What is the Great Matter?

If you say something--
Then is something next to “It”?


Who can bear this weight—so many--
The I, the yoking, the yoked?

Is it this complication, this
Activity, that makes

The hosta

Spring lily like with
Light leaf edges?

Let the edge cut the tongue, lift a finger ful
Of black loam to the

Bleeding tongue

Copyright © 2004 Jim McCurry