Iowa Writes


Tell me stories to fill my mind, as I die, Imogene.
Uncap the fountain in the courtyard of the castle to
Expel the sickness of the muddy-watered world, Imogene.
Revolve around my bed, changing the sheets and mopping the
Sweat from imperfections in the bedroom; belittle the
Nurses with their heads held together between talkative
Tongues, Imogene.  Tell them I am going to die; tell them
There is no hope; tell them I need to die to save you,
Imogene—lie to them, Imogene.  Tell them cancer isn't so
Bad, Imogene.  Write a novel about my life, Imogene; fill
It with words that careen from vessel to vessel.  Catch
These words on air molecules to travel from lamppost to
Lamppost—lighting the way through the darkest of soils.
Unabridge my life with your semi-sweet countenance, Imogene.
Flutter the words on angel's wing to the stars
And the moonlight's tender litany.  Fill a bowl with the
Purest water, Imogene; my mind is as a wearing antiquity
Atop a building—forgotten and lost—and priceless, Imogene.

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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Trent McMahon is currently a sophomore at The University of Iowa, studying English and creative writing. He enjoys (as should go without saying) writing and experimenting with all genres of literature, and feels that a majority of his material comes from the experiences he's had growing up in the small town of Centerville, Iowa.

This piece originally appeared in earthwords, Volume 31.

This page was first displayed
on November 16, 2011

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