Iowa Writes

from "Five Villanelles"

Somewhere in a foreign city a phone is ringing
soft as a lover's murmur. It never stops:
the whole long night is but a beginning

or an end you've lost the middle of. Something
quite other than you imagined now throbs
somewhere in a foreign city. A phone is ringing

and it's for you, but you can never bring
yourself to pick it up. The pillow flops
the whole night long. If this is a beginning,

let there be more of light and less the thing
that brought you south and safe from wife or cops.
Somewhere in a foreign city a phone is ringing

you will pick up someday. Let's say it's spring,
guitar in the street, a full moon coming up,
the whole long night is nada but beginning

to make you want to dance, and you could sing
if you could swing your old soul round and stop
somewhere in this foreign city, phones all ringing
the whole night long and you with a new beginning.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Jim Barnes's ninth book of poetry, Visiting Picasso (2007), is published by University of Illinois Press. He and his wife, Cora McKown, an artist and designer, live in Santa Fe and have a ranch in eastern Oklahoma.

The entire poem "Five Villanelles" appears in the current (Spring 2008) issue of The Iowa Review, a literary magazine based at the University of Iowa. Founded in 1970, The Iowa Review has been edited by David Hamilton since 1978.

Iowa Review site

This page was first displayed
on June 04, 2008

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