Corey Mesler

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 5 full-length poetry collections. His new novel, Memphis Movie, is from Counterpoint Press. 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

After the Exile

“The exile of words has begun.”
–Bei Dao



Still they are messengers, gray
like the wall they’re up against,
gray as the night in which they
must travel by necessity, by
starlight, which wavers in its old
age, just now finding the one
flower along the sidewalk crack,
just now, suddenly, enough light
for the words to get through, for
the words to be thoroughly through.





Featured Image: “Music – A Sequence of Ten Cloud Photographs, No. 1, Alfred Stieglitz (American, Hoboken, New Jersey 1864–1946 New York), 1922

Oh Heart!

In the tinkling
thinking of
the wind chimes
I hear a song
that places me
before you again,
on my knees, a
knave. In the
thinking reflection
of the window,
steamed with my
own breath, I
write your name.
It’s not your
name anymore;
I have vanished from
the window. I
am sunk into
the afternoon, like
a man who
sits too long, a man
who wants to hear
singing in wind
and to see your face in
the erasures he’s used
to manage what is gone.

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