Iowa Writes



Beautiful young woman named Logic: 1963: I remember
a year named Doublemint: say it again: I remember
her. On a day like this, I am forty years old, eating;
that's a big event. I question french fries and ketchup
and my bottle of Scottish breakfast tea in a small cafe in Beaverdale.
It's a strip mall. I am horrified. Ants in the kitchen,
emphasis on the "it makes my skin crawl."
Ye olde regular terrifying prices the rest of my life.
I am working late. I haven't had a raise in five years.
I sit on a stool. I keep repeating myself. I spend most
of my money; I shouldn't be writing this on pages
of health insurance. I watch Gunsmoke and co-pays.
I think I sip Nu-Grape. It's a house getting settled into
late at night, a gigantic sinkhole, before we shut out
the favorite shrub, forget the lights, and just be home. It's
about flowers leaning against my Logic's gutters clogged
with warm shoulders and twigs. The station wagon
breezes through the district of Doublemint.


Alien autopsy. Blizzard
in England. A small
television the shape
of a radio. Young Marilyn
Monroe in Hollywood.
Gandhi in India—
lots of bodies.
"Ford is Finer in 47."
Eleven days left
to prepare for transfer
of power. Miss Australia
salutes you. Dana Andrews
stars in "Boomerang."
I turn and look at you.
Flying saucers from
hollow Earth, Pakistan.
The radio-controlled
guts of a theremin-singing
robot. Groucho
and Carmen star in "Copacabana."
I light a Chesterfield.
I am glad the war is over.
I am going to sleep off
being a janitor six days a week.
Goodnight, Holy Angel.


Mr. Salvador, my landlord, whacks back nature
and stands on a ladder, becomes light and adjusts balloons,
a ritual observation, and wrenches his neck.
Rabbits hide in the sticks. Mr. Salvador's
crows call out because they would mock me and then
the neighbor's dog, and pretend he was only
strains against the chain, adjusting balloons to sell.
The paint falls off the house, anise toast, and coffee;
opossums run across our roof beams. Mr. Salvador
and I hear the same moon, and we're not friends, and therefore
it (the moon) plays its thin silver violin.


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


Rustin Larson's poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, North American Review, Poetry East, and The American Entomologist Poet's Guide to the Orders of Insects. He is the author of The Wine-Dark House (Blue Light Press, 2009), Crazy Star (selected for the Loess Hills Book's Poetry Series in 2005), Bum Cantos, Winter Jazz, & The Collected Discography of Morning, winner of the 2013 Blue Light Book Award (Blue Light Press, San Francisco), and The Philosopher Savant (Glass Lyre Press, 2015).

This page was first displayed
on February 03, 2017

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