poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this poet

Ben Doller (previously Doyle) was born in Warsaw, New York in 1973. He completed his undergraduate education at the State University of New York at Oswego and West Virginia University, and he received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was awarded a Teaching-Writing Fellowship.

He is the author of Fauxhawk (Wesleyan University Press, 2015), Dead Ahead (Fence Books, 2010), FAQ (Ahsahta Press, 2009), and Radio, Radio (Louisiana State University Press, 2001), which was selected by Susan Howe for the 2000 Walt Whitman Award

Doller has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, West Virginia University, and Denison University, and he served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor at Boise State University in 2007. He is coeditor of the Kuhl House Contemporary Poetry Series at the University of Iowa Press, and is vice editor and designer of 1913 a journal of forms and 1913 Press.

He is an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, and lives in North Park, San Diego.


Selected Bibliography

 

Fauxhawk (Wesleyan University Press, 2015) 
Dead Ahead (Fence Books, 2010)
FAQ (Ahsahta Press, 2009)
Radio, Radio (Louisiana State University Press, 2001)

Radio, Radio

In the middle of every field,
obscured from the side by grass
or cornhusks, is a clearing where
she works burying swans alive
into the black earth. She only
buries their bodies, their wings.
She packs the dirt tight around
their noodle necks & they shake
like long eyelashes in a hurricane.
She makes me feed them by hand
twice a day for one full year: grain,
bits of chopped fish. Then she
takes me to the tin toolshed.
Again she shows me the world
inside her silver transistor radio.
She hands me the scythe.

From Radio, Radio by Ben Doyle, published by Louisiana State University Press. Copyright © 2000 by Ben Doyle. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

From Radio, Radio by Ben Doyle, published by Louisiana State University Press. Copyright © 2000 by Ben Doyle. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Ben Doller

Ben Doller

Ben Doller is the author of Fauxhawk (Wesleyan University Press, 2015). He is an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, and lives in North Park, San Diego.

by this poet

poem

Just want things
proportional.

Just things,
not all.

Not kings, kings
should be below:

shoveling, dripping,
and most of all—

literally speaking—
not people

nothing living
need be within our ratio.

I underexaggerate,
though:

there’s

2
poem

whiter I make it when walking right in
unswerved, sweating fluorescent bleach,
preaching a moon page that says its welts:
learn this by heart is empty but do it
to do it. I make it somehow whiter, zombied
and I opified allover the absolutely
whitest room. I say keep your lines in line

poem
Lick the lights. Everyone 
says that here. Sometimes 
they'll call a spade a shovel, 
hollowing half a hole, 
which is all I have to sleep inside.


There's one


arboretum running 
underground from near here 
to Verisimilitude City. 
I measure the macrocosm 
with miles of mint string. Flossing


the dunning