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About this poet

Lindsey D. Alexander is the author of the poetry collection, Rodeo in Reverse, forthcoming from Hub City Press in 2018. Her poetry has appeared in the Southern ReviewWaxwingArts & Letters, and Devil’s Lake, where her work won a 2015 Driftless Prize. She produces Story of My Life, a podcast that features guests over the age of seventy. She lives in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Sleepless in Indiana, I Contemplate the Age-Old Arts

Dog that won’t stop barking and all I can think:
I don’t know anything about stars—		

not what they’re called or how they form, but how

we turn stars into stickers to surprise
our children and assure them You are better
than normal children. 				

On boat decks, sailors cry out Orion!
			and they see a man,
but they’ve only drawn stick-figure self-portraits
of fire and longing. 


		      I tried to sketch
my face one night with stronger brow lines,
higher cheekbones, but it was all nose, scaly 
water moccasin: a viper me. 

I paid someone who drew me in 
red with big hair, gaunter—
the way he drew me made me

see how lonely he thought I was. I rolled
that portrait with wax paper and a rubber band,

		look at it during the Lenten season—

That same spring or summer on the back of a boat, I caught a sunfish, baited him
with gum. I didn’t like unhooking him—

tore his lip. Astrologists 
shape stars into fish, take cracks at
decoding futures. Palm-reading hocus-pocus: 

on my hand—which is starboard, 
                 port, and which is solar flare?

I could use that hand to throw a tomahawk
from this bed and hit neither boat nor star 

from way down here, 
so far from water.

Copyright © 2015 Lindsey D. Alexander. This poem originally appeared in Devil’s Lake, Fall 2015. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2015 Lindsey D. Alexander. This poem originally appeared in Devil’s Lake, Fall 2015. Used with permission of the author.

Lindsay D. Alexander

Lindsey D. Alexander

Lindsey D. Alexander is the author of the poetry collection, Rodeo in Reverse, forthcoming from Hub City Press in 2018.

by this poet

poem
Never get a husband. They never will make cheese plates without a fuss. Get a dog
with thumbs.	

Sometimes when my husband does the dishes, I rampage. I rampage when
                                     for some reason 
                                     the glasses look
dirtier
poem

I was an observer: my own student
and my best teacher
in the forest working the lyrics together.
There were bees in his beard,
in a good way.

She cupped his chin: this
was platonic and also the source
of some honey. He fed her
two lines he had kept inside his soul
for

poem
                                  But then there’s the beauty of the rodeo:

		the buck and nod, 
				                      that arch and stretch
			        against gravity.

	
		    A bronco’s no square peg,
and neither am I.

		Pegs or no, we both flex
  			our more resistant muscles—			

			strong-legged,