Two Poems — Poetry by Corey Mesler

Voice Closed like a Lamp

You can touch me
with the
new words. You
are distant.
Years and miles and
roughed up
hearts separate us. Yet
there was a
moment right before
when I thought you
wanted some-
thing fine from me,
only a lover could give,
a real fighter, a mug.


I’m reading Ted Kooser
and the dog starts
to scratch, its
spiked collar and medals
setting up a
distracting tintinnabulation.
I stop. I put
a finger on the poem.
Later I return
to it; it’s called
‘Mother’ and I find
a piece of fabric
marks my place.
Torn from a doll’s dress
my daughter once owned,
years ago,
in a wild, dark country,
where, at night,
we could hear panthers crying.

COREY MESLER has published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Good Poems American Places, and Esquire/Narrative. He has published 8 novels, 4 short story collections, numerous chapbooks, and 4 full-length poetry collections. He’s been nominated for many Pushcarts, and 2 of his poems were chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. With his wife he runs a bookstore in Memphis. He can be found at


2 thoughts on “Two Poems — Poetry by Corey Mesler

  1. VOICE CLOSED LIKE A LAMP: Especially, I like the first 3 lines–“You can touch me with your new words….” which is often what is needed in an “old” situation”: new words, the emotions, new thinking to break the impasse.

    POEM: i’m not sure who Ted Kooser is (my bad, I’ll find out. 🙂 –but the piece of doll’s dress marking the poem called Mother…is very captivating symbolism.

    Thank-you for sharing both poems, sir!


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