Winter for a Moment Takes the Mind
{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Corey Mesler

has published in The Adirondack Review, The American Poetry Journal, Poet Lore, Rattle, Cellar Door and other journals.

His novels, published by Livingston Press, are Talk: a Novel in Dialogue (2002) and We are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2007).  His first full-length collection of poems, Some Identity Problems, is just out from Foothills Publishing,.

He’s been a book reviewer, a fiction editor, a university press sales rep, a grant committee judge, a father and a son. With his wife he owns Burkes Book Store, one of the countrys oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores.  Visit his website.  

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The yews black fingers wag;/Cold clouds go over—Sylvia Plath

Almost winter here
and a chill in my heart
presages it.
I have laid down my
pen and my
artificial limb. I have
canceled my
subscription to Infirm
Friends, if you find me
here, curled
up at my desk,
tell the children it was
all for them.
Tell them another lie:
I wrote
until I could write no more.
What I really mean is:
I have reached
the part where the author
hesitates, and in
his hesitation, is frozen.


Winter in Hell

Trees are ink sprayed on a page.
The sounds the wind makes
are like bones scraping.
You go outside only because
you have to, to find, half buried
in the snow, a human hand.


A Winter Fly

A winter fly
buzzes half-heartedly around
the Christmas tree,
as incongruous as snow in July.
Where did he come from?
we stop to ask,
as he double-rolls by us,
seeming confused,
perhaps drunk with his unexpected
life. Would that we were
all given such
inexplicable chances, second or third
chances, here in the
heart of the coldest and most
exanimate season
of the year.