Iowa Writes

Unidentified Poem

This is the history of
a civilization so secret
it came to hide from itself
all proof of its having existed.

No one could say for sure
just where the gun emplacements
had been, or what could be gleaned
from actuarial tables

or even the lingering scent
of prostitutes in the morning.
I heard of it from a blind man
who may have been over one hundred

and could not tell me whether
he was the last of his race
or even what his race was.
He was sure of only two things:

Once he had been in love
and once there was a parade.
He remembered the drums and bugles,
the marching feet and the cheering.

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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Tad Richards is the author of a dozen novels, including Nick and Jake (Arcade Publishing, 2012).  His work has recently been included in the anthologies Villanelles and In Like Company, and in Lewis Turco's The Book of Forms, 4th Edition.  He is president and artistic director of the Opus 40 Sculpture Park and Museum in Saugerties, New York.  He studied at the Iowa Writers' Workshop from 1960-63 with Paul Engle, Donald Justice, Philip Roth, Vance Bourjaily, and Edmund Keeley.

This page was first displayed
on June 08, 2016

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