Grant Souders


The thing must be its own hum

like a rocket

In a dream

I am a child again

I’m walking in a city

I get on a train

and get off

I feel lost

A piece of fruit

fallen off a truck


knowing nothing

terribly free


In this passage

and its cognates

if I steal a word

and throttle

the music

the jungle

am then


of meaning


even in it


I went somewhere else for a while and I suppose that something should

have happened, which it did.

Water fell much like it should, the plains were that, and what could be done

to change it.

Small birds, fish, silver in the sunlight, that day that they were.

Electrified, terrified, tugged from above as many are. How many? As many more.

There was noise like the memory in a song.

There was noise and silence, no, there wasn’t any silence.

There was none of that.

It is easy to say you live, the things hung out along a spectrum, while the cliffs

fold into the sea and the sea makes me think of anything,

but the sea.


But of course, it eludes you. The erection doesn’t last.

The states are bleached out. The border is resin.

The birds have resigned themselves to the sky.

The ones on the lake have always been there.

They remind you how much you are not yourself.

How polluted and hungry you are.

You do not make the red-throated diver remember anything.

Ice edges off the soil into the edge of the lake.

The dam keeps the water.

The dam keeps the water warm.

In love with ourselves, the red-throated divers abandon.

Grant Souders is the author of the chapbook, Relative Yard (Patient Sounds, 2011), and a collaborative book with Nathaniel Whitcomb and Matthew Sage, A Singular Continent (Palaver Press, 2014). In 2014, he joined Matthew Sage in editing Patient Presses, Intl., including their chapbook series and their quarterly, digital magazine, WINDOW. Recently, his poetry has appeared in the Boston Review, jubilat, iO, OmniVerse, Denver Quarterly, Paperbag, and other venues. His first full-length collection, Service, is out on Tupelo Press. His visual art has appeared at a variety of galleries in Colorado. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop where he was a Maytag Fellow. He currently lives in Denver and teaches English at the University of Colorado.

Blurb on Service: “Souders risks that most dismissible of poetic virtues: sincerity... Such sincerity reveals itself as a terrain, a ground, a place of founding and so also a place of finding. It makes of Souders’s poems something akin to ‘a fire to look at / and look by.’ The object of our meditation is also the object that gives us vision — the poem, these poems, which do not play for us a tune, but give us 'a tune we could play into.’” – Dan Beachy-Quick in the Boston Review

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