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Squirrel on the Porch



In the split second

it took me to recognize him

he was gone


and he seemed then

as exotic as a squonk or manticore,

something dreamed.


It was only his unexpectedness,

of course, set on

our porchrail with his snack,


a harbinger of renewable love.






In Love in a Baneful Town




Even as the devil goes by,

his hooves resounding

on the paving stones

like a runaway steed,

we huddle naked beneath

your grandmother’s quilt.

Our bodies touch along

every small hair, every

inch of flesh alive like

a chaffinch. We know the

spells which ward away

evil, incantations which begin

with the whispered words,

“Come closer, dearest.”






A Whirly-Gig World



She asked me

if I wanted to live

in a whirly-gig world,

and I thought, hell,

I’d give it a shot.

She took me by my

short stack and

didn’t let go until she

was through wringing

from me all that was

charming or cute

or smart. It felt like death,

the small death

the French know. I was

left, feckless and spoony,

but, friends, it

was worth it,

for her, the wet center of her,

and for the short

time spent living, sort of, in

a whirly-gig world.




--- Corey Mesler



ABOUT THE AUTHOR (in his own words):

I have published prose and/or poetry in Yellow Silk, Pindeldyboz, Mars Hill Review, Pikeville Review, Arkansas Review, Center, Small Press Review, Jabberwock Review, Rattle, Orchid, Quick Fiction, Timber Creek Review, Green Egg, Poetry Motel, Raintown Review, Potomac Review, Poetry Super Highway, Big Muddy, Slant, Wilmington Blues, Drought, Rockhurst Review, Wavelength, Lilliput Review, Pearl, Aurorean, Lucid Moon, Heeltap, Sunny Outside, Fish Drum, Into the Teeth of the Wind, Mid-American Poetry Review, Independence Boulevard, Midday Moon, Turnrow, Now Here Nowhere, Dust, Cherotic Revolutionary, Cotyledon, Buckle &, Iodine, Snakeskin (England), Flashpoint, Freewheelin’ (England), Pitchfork, Anthology, Poet Lore, Spillway, The Pegasus Review, Reverb, Kimera, Thema, Kumquat Meringue, Lonzie’s Fried Chicken, Both Sides Now, Electric Acorn (Dublin), Razor Wire, Gin Bender, Blue Unicorn, Black Dirt, The Spirit that I recently won the Moonfire Poetry Chapbook Competition and my chapbook will be published by Still Waters Press in 2003.


One of my short stories was chosen for the 2002 edition of New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, edited by Shannon Ravenel.


My novel-in-dialogue, Talk, was published by Livingston Press in 2002. Raves from Lee Smith, Robert Olen Butler, Steve Stern, Debra Spark, Suzanne Kingsbury, Frederick Barthelme and John Grisham.


I've been a book reviewer (for The Commercial Appeal, BookPage, The Memphis Flyer, Brightleaf), fiction editor (for Ion Books/raccoon), university press sales rep, grant committee judge (for The Oregon Arts Council), father and son. With my wife I own Burke’s Book Store, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores.

Thanks for the consideration.




Corey Mesler

1954 Young 

Memphis TN 38104

(901) 278-7484