YOU PEOPLE

ROO N BOOM LOVE MORE THAN YOU. This pho-toem was in Spokane's Museum of Art and Culture, a 2011 juried show. For more of these, click on PHO-TOEMS above.
A poem from NO STARLING. "You People" received a Pushcart Prize and Poetry Magazine's Friends of Literature Award


People, don’t ask me again where my shoes are.
The valley I walked through was frozen to me
as I was to it. My heavy hide, my zinc
talisman—I’m fine, people. Don’t stare
at my feet. And don’t flash the sign of the cross
in my face. I carry the Blue Cross Card—
card among cards, card of my number
and gold seal. So shall ye know I am of
the system, in the beast’s belly and up
to here, people, with your pity.

People, what is wrong with you? I don’t care
what the sign on your door says. I will go
to another door. I will knock and rattle
and if you won’t, then surely someone, somewhere,
will put a pancake in my hand.

You people of the rhetorical huh? You lords and ladies
of the blooming stump, I bend over you, taste you,
keep an eye on you, dream for you the beginning
of what you may one day dream an end to.

The new century peeled me bone-bare
like a song inside a warbler—that bird, people,
who knows not to go where the sky’s stopped.
Keep this in mind. Do you think
the fox won’t find your nest? That
the egg of you will endure the famine?
You, you people born of moons with no
mother-planets, you who are back-lit,
who have no fathers in heaven, hear now
the bruise-knuckled knock of me. I am returned.

From your alley. From your car up on blocks.
From the battered, graffitied railcars that uncouple
and move out into the studded green lightning.

Do you believe because your youth’s
been ransacked, nothing more will be asked of you?
And people, about the shoes: the shoes
have no doubt entered the sea and are by now
walking the ramparts of Atlantis.
I may be a false prophet, but god bless me, at least
I have something to say. Supine in a pencil of night,
I’ve no chiseled tip yet, but already
the marks take form in the lead.

Nance's newest poetry book is OUR FOREIGNER

Fiction
"Nance Van Winckel has long been one of my favorite poets—a voice I turn to again and again for imagery and music and to remind me of the loveliness and intensity of the subtle narrative woven into the subtle lyric. Pacific Walkers shows her at the peak of her powers. It is a riveting book, accumulating in strangeness and fearsome magic as it moves through the mysteries of existence and mortality." —Laura Kasischke
OTHER BOOKS OF POEMS
"The poems of NO STARLING project life through a strange, wonderful prism, part heavily refracting language, part heady, playful imagination. Nothing is stranger than what is true to life. Nothing is more necessary." —THE CINCINNATI REVIEW
SAMPLE POEM
received the Friends of Literature Award from POETRY MAGAZINE.
BOOKS OF FICTION
Linked stories, each told by a resident of a commune in Eastern Washington.