Iowa Writes

From Obelisk to Water's Edge

As long as we are in the same room together
we share a similar sense of history

a change of purpose a common expiation
deliberate and serial first to last to first

temperaments backing into place—
they were vanishing they were riding the haze

amid this bulk and noise are dispassionate tidings
solemn details a missing piece of evidence that advance

the glamour of strange circumstances
within the silences earned by fragments and pursuit

until we learn the location of the lost city
the news will always be bad and the words

that make it up like a dialect without a grammar
but with its own clarity and logic endlessly complex and menacing

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.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Ray DiPalma lived in Iowa City from 1966-68 and received his Poetry M.F.A. from the Writers' Workshop in 1968. His recent books include L'Usage ancien de la pierre (Éditions Grèges, 2007), Quatre Poèmes (Éditions Comp'Act, 2006), and Caper, which was translated into Italian by Gian Maria Annovi (Lombardelli, 2006). Among his earlier collections are Numbers and Tempers, Le Tombeau de Reverdy, Provocations, Hôtel des Ruines, Gnossiennes, and Letters. He has lived in New York City since 1975 and currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts.

This page was first displayed
on November 14, 2007

Find us on Facebook