an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century


John Dorsey


it’s so hot

that even the trees

prefer to dance alone

they prefer the sound

of their own voice too

you read a poem

about addiction

which is really about death

which is really about trees

i imagine you picking apples

along a riverine

in a nebraska boneyard

your hands are pale

crows have reshaped the digits

of their need

you take two steps back

before i can even forget

to mispronounce your name

your dead brother’s song

is a chorus in an empty field.


John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017),Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), and Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous.