By John Harper

please calm down—dear john,
reality is a mind away;
i’d stare at this heeding all morning,
hungry, confused, deadly

to myself, whom i’m losing
touch with—losing mind
as swirling lost cosmos behind my eyes—
but it feels so sure of pained boredom—

death is purring me to find
its calm field of wild flowers;
an alpine wyoming lake, one piece of sky—
a small future is waking up to me—

i’m shaking anywhere i think;
i think i’m done; i’m losing pieces—
the last day of my life
is starting to seem real—


Graduate of the Writer’s Workshop at Iowa, and with poetry published in literary journals like DIAGRAM, MID-AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW, CUTBANK, SPINNING JENNY and ZOLAND POETRY, John Harper was a highly advanced wanderer until he met his match; his ego placed him smack-dab into the hands of a reality he cannot run from; he vows to never revisit his older lives; he lives day by day, as a poet does—

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