Iowa Writes


Bird, the dart thrown evenly through the sheetrock
in my friend's blown-out apartment. We went as favor
to feed his fish, Hypertagious, or something like that,
globesafe, glassed away from the dust heaps planted
by an invisible in the electrical outage. You were with me, but couldn't see.

You were with me, but couldn't see the lawn we stumbled on,
punch-holed and porch columns lettering a bridge
to the sorority house, exposed as dolls'—
bunkbeds abandoned, teetering with fleece green blankets,
flapping large ribbons where the wall once was.

There were all sorts of walls removed. The bar you played in
was left electric, opened to the shifts, seasoned hot and cold.
Those that didn't know now was the time to dance
amidst and against the tunnel-whirled smoke. The music, the medicine
substitute for the birds that stopped peeping, you passed through

like the instantaneous surge, fever, you passed through, left
stuttering at daylight to see the town all moved. Pyramids of things
gangled up in the trees: bandaids, speaker wires, radio flyer. 
Crumbled carnage of papers. Red sweats hanging as blood bags,
suspended like the heart that wrestles in we.

There is a heart that suspends and branches and removes debris.
It twists like a synthesizer bends under pressure, contorted modal being.
We'll call your section the F2 string. Whose hands rambled
the harp that day? What winds' greed? What hands are these?
We spun that tornado. You couldn't see, but were already with me.

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


Katherine Factor was raised across the river in Galesburg, Illinois, educated at Interlochen Arts Academy and Grinnell College. A recent graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is interested in new natural histories.

This page was first displayed
on April 24, 2008

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