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2 Poems by Joseph Heithaus, Who Will Appear with Mark Neely at IUPUI

October 11, 2012 by Reader's Connection

Saturday, October 27
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
IUPUI Poetry Contest Festival and Awards Ceremony
Campus Center Room 405

Join IUPUI Poetry Contest judges Joe Heithaus and Mark Neely, as well as IUPUI creative writing faculty, as they lead sessions on reading and writing contemporary poetry. Hear student poets read their winning poems and celebrate the art and music of poetry.

Beasts of the HillThen on Wednesday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m., Neely and Heithaus will give readings in the University Library Lilly Auditorium.

Each poet has published a collection in 2012.

Mark Neely
Beasts of the Hill

Joseph Heithaus
Poison Sonnets

Here are two poems from Poison Sonnets (published by David Robert Books, used by permission).

Platanus occidentalis

I’m back home again in dream or some mottled
memory of a summer night when we played
kick the can or ghost in the graveyard
until the neighborhood went dark and we made
ourselves scarce and hid in the thicket until
my father’s stern voice scared us back
to where he stood by his smoldering grill.
I remember how everything went black
except for the sycamore’s trunk, gray-white,
shimmering in the dark while my father roared
at us and I dreamed of the ghost I would become
when I could finally grow up and run
away. But now, he’s the ghost I run toward.
I hide in him, forgive him, seek his murky light.

Murky Light

How can words cure us, how can sorry
remedy a pain. What is prayer? How does silence
work? I wonder this in the half light
of a fall dusk, the wind carrying

buzzards in circles above a bluff,
the cottonwoods making their wonderful
shush. I’d like my brother back, my father,
I’d like to cure my mother far away,

get back a friend I’ve lost. But only
a butterfly in response, blue backed,
fluttering and I’m too tired to look up
its name. What is all this beauty for?
The clouds look like they’re piled
against a fence. Then the sun is gone.


All readings are free and open to the public. IUPUI’s University Library is located at 755 W. Michigan St. The Campus Center is located at 420 University Boulevard. Visitor parking is available in the North Street Garage, 819 W. North St. and the Vermont Street Garage, 1004 W. Vermont Street.


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