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About this poet

Michael Teig was born and raised in 1968 in Franklin, Pennsylvania.

He holds a BA in English from Oberlin College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

His first book, Big Back Yard (BOA Editions, 2003), was selected by Stephen Dobyns to receive the inaugural A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize.

He is a founding editor of jubilat, a twice-yearly international poetry journal. Teig currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he works as a freelance writer and editor.


Directory of Obsolete Securities

Michael Teig
I could stay here humming
and amuse myself with the window.

The lowing cows you cannot see.
Another month I made up. Another asterisk.

How I wrestle with the newspaper
and other people's pillows.

How I think of Albert,
for he is like the names of the days.

He walks the field
kicking a potato,
dreaming of casinos.

His emissaries get lost in alleyways.
His bridges crawl with teenagers.

The phone rings,
the sky tilts away.
A whole migration of Albert under the office door.

Albert is in the Otzal Alps.
He sends postcards saying
getting to Albert might be difficult.

Airplanes fly over and that is useful.
Albert is in the estuary.
We sit on the porch sharing a swing.

He is as loud as a rifle, over and over.
He clears the fields of crows.

From Big Back Yard by Michael Teig, published by BOA Editions, Ltd. Copyright © 2003 by Michael Teig. Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher. All rights reserved.

Michael Teig

Michael Teig

Michael Teig was born in 1968 and raised in western Pennsylvania. He

by this poet

When he couldn't sleep and his sight got going
he noted the colors on the back of each painting;

this one forest blue, that gunpowder,
one blue to make the yellow tell,
and one bluer than that.

Certain nights only the rain will have 
its say, troubling the downspout.

When morning came
he chose a white shirt
Thank you for the gift. Never have I seen
a more thoughtful tea-strainer.
For you I'm striking a silent movie pose.

For instance, I step out and take in the moon
like a tourist. It puts tiny gloves on the ferns.
It's bigger than life size.

I've a room here just for sitting. If I want
I fetch some music to slap