Denise Low

Denise Low, the second Kansas Poet Laureate, has published twenty-five books, including Ghost Stories (The Circle -Best Native Am. Books of 2010Ks. Notable Book). Heath Fisher writes: “Filled with vivid imagery of the land and the culture, and both verse and prose, Ghost Stories is an enchanting tribute to the plains and the history (Rain Taxi). Low’s Natural Theologies: Essays (The Backwaters Press, 2012) is the first critical review of mid-plains literature. Mary Harwell Saylerwrites: “The literature of the ‘New Middle West’ seems to adapt, innovate, and follow Low’s insightful view” (Rattle). Low is a former board member and past president of AWP. She writes articles, blogs, and reviews and also publishes a small press, Mammoth. Her heritages include British Isles, Delaware, and German. Recent writings appear in American Life in Poetry, Yellow Medicine Rev., Virginia Q. Rev. New Letters, Yukhika-latuhse, Unraveling the Spreading Cloth of Time (rENEGADE pLANET), I Was Indian (Foot Hills), I-70. | 


Garden of William Burroughs

The backyard lot deepens—
acid-dream fuzz asters
sumac and wild marijuana.

Behind a privacy hedge
poison ivy pokes mitts
through orgone box slats.

By the back door a pond
its scrim of algae scum.
Arrowroot leaves are hatchets.

Outside his window sinks
a smaller pool, moon-round
cattail-circled bracken

what he dove into before sleep
as fingers loosened their grip
on the pearl-handled pistol.


Crop Duster Plane

loops its nervous buzz
one green-shag row, the next,
tracing perfect graphs,

puffing powdered sugar
through heavenly blue air.
Poison settles on corn.

Inside the cab, radio thumps
bass and combustion.
The fuel gauge counts time.

Beyond the irrigated swatch
sandstone dunes, shrubbery,
hawks on cottonwoods.

This is how one day passes—
measured, remote,
solo and slow.

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