Candice Wuehle is a Romanticist currently pursuing a Masters in English
Literature at the University of Minnesota. She hails from a variety of
Middle Western towns, but mostly Iowa City, Iowa where she has studied
at the Iowa Writers' Workshop (summer session).
No one knows what a Firecat is. I know
one in Florida, fur bitch-flamed, singed on the swamp ghost.
In the islands the zombie. In the east the simple psycho.
In my prairie go where the quiet men go
shoveling snow, buying groceries, existing otherwise alone.
Or the women organs occupied with spoil, dying televisions on,
but everybody still coughing is bit, burned, by these emptied oceans.
I loved a river rerouted to the land, dried by bad hands, mishandled
so severe that water never shone big or flat enough again for even
brightest of the 26 brightest stars to reflect. Dead rivers
can never care you don't swallow a bottle of twilight one night
stretched flat like land in a little Apex City hotel, dead rivers
can never say thank you for never leaving me a note like that,
can never say thank you for being answer to the children's riddle:
What's everywhere and nowhere? What made my waves
and broke them? Ah—air doesn't care. Air just whips
summer south to one of those women who makes up conjures,
reminds the root of the branch, injury of the insult, one of those
women who won't let that go. Because in a prairie steam the other
night my body slick slipped half-bind to full just to do as
what was simplest. Now—breeze; there's one of those rebel rivers leads
down there, some flush earth too, some lucid air:
some fine hell to fan at bottom.
Patience, Rights & Responsibilities
Pistol on the stage; an unvoiced
Sage. You used to believe
some people were drowning.
And then you realized they were just
Summer is up on its legs. Lightning
veins across the sky. Your temple
aches only seasonally. Until it doesn't.
Light a flame, file your claim—hope
Scar in the ocean; disaster. Scar
on the body; unmark the grave.
Here lies one whose name was writ in
booze. Except, accept the path
to your tomb won't weary itself.
Bang; this is not just yours.
Greeting Card in an Iowa Accent
I was blown to be bent
before I was aware my hair had hushed
the dry lips of the prairie, was
standing straight as an early slaked
spine of corn
before I believed the drench of my tress
was dew, not mist. I do not miss you.
I misuse the word salvage even still, as though
it is an act of grace and not of payment. Amazing
after all I am here breathing air after believing I was
drowned. Can they prove the sin? Did I keep so much?
Antediluvian: I kept what the prairie kept, which it to say
all. Salvage: that which cannot happen without wreck.
Recompense: Thank You for the Storm!
Back to Front.