John Domini Online

One of the poems from John's chapbook, The Grand McLuckless Road Atlas, out now on Pedestrian Press/Bicycle Review. This piece won the 2006 Meridian Editors' Prize, and appeared later in anthologies.

Okie Monarchs

I never saw so raped a countryside,
this Oklahoma "City" so-called...

the derricks jacking in and out, obscene
beside the swings, the library... crude rules;

mall posterboard and neon wink their lies
across the Broadway shaft, like mica flickers

across a pit, across the tumbling wrappers...
like condoms, sacks of children's souls... pale

along the median. Never saw a hell
to match this drive-through. When the Monarchs

arrived, they waggled in alternative
rush-hour flow, in cloverleafs mid-air,

among the starving greens of Lowes and Target.
More migrants -- lovely, sure, but only Okies --

they spawn, they go, their wings like hot-rod flames,
some Heineken-green, never saw the like

before... once, in glossy springtime, Cape Cod,
a luna moth, a monster, startled me,
and it was green, and I thought, Dickinson,

gone midnight, strange, her "noon" gone moon; I thought,
Nabokov, sexy lepidopterist,
ripe youth and beauty in his net... Now,

these Red-Dirt flyers, scribbling on the air,
it's like a note you jot in mid-commute,

no poem. Autumn's on us, Hallowe"en,
the black and orange... décor that's not unlike

these blossom-cruisers: Little People, up
on brooms, their dance to Satan stained the blood
of sunset; male hooks female; howling mute,

invisible yet vivid upward love coils,
a couple climbing spiral steeps, at work
against the vertigo, a pair of pilgrims...

Contact John Domini

John is always glad to hear from readers and thinkers: john at johndomini dot com.

He has won awards in all genres, with fiction in Paris Review and non-fiction in The New York Times. The Times praised his work as "dreamlike... grabs hold of both reader and character," and Alan Cheuse, of NPR's "All Things Considered," described it as "witty and biting."

John's grants include an NEA Fellowship and an Iowa Major Artist Award. He has taught at Harvard, Northwestern, and elsewhere, and makes his home in Des Moines.

Photo credit: Camille Renee.