Iowa Writes


Carl was a quiet man.  Not taciturn, just your standard laconic Midwestern patriarch.  Born in Missouri, raised in the Dakotas, he grew accustomed to the silence that comes back at you from those places.  The prairies.  The plains.  Go stand out alone in the Badlands sometime and you'll hear it.  The gullies and hoodoos come back at you all the same, like: Go on and walk here, live here, die, I don't mind.  I don't care, they seem to say, with no real malice.  The wind and the sage say it, too, and the places where sage is a lack.  As though the whole lovely useless space calls back through the raucous noiselessness which is, what, exactly?  God Himself.  Saying your presence means nothing.  Saying you could drive for miles on that moonscape, that you could build a house or a barn or a life on any given stretch of grass, none of it granting you any sort of permanence.  They now and ever shall be just as they were in the beginning, those spaces.  Their sort of silence.  You cannot trespass; it can't be done.  It is too vast, and you are too small, and I wonder, sometimes, if Cathedrals aren't a mockery of this.

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


G.V. de Choisy is the Nonfiction Editor of The Iowa Review and the Host of The Lit Show.  She is an MFA candidate in the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program.

This page was first displayed
on December 05, 2014

Find us on Facebook