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 COREY MESLER has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published two novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002) and We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006), a full length poetry collection, Some Identity Problems (2008), and a book of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations (2009). He also has two novels set to be published in the Spring of 2010, The Ballad of the Two Tom Mores (Bronx River Press) and Following Richard Brautigan (Livingston Press). He has also published a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He also claims to have written, “In the Year 2525.”  With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He can be found at






Eight years ago

my father left


turning out the light

behind him,


leaving me to bake

a pie

with the scarecrow’s bones.






The Cancer of Believing You’re in Control


for Rebecca



You can sit as still as you like. You

can root yourself to the Bo-tree.

You can become the space between

the clouds, the sound the air

makes when the crickets go quiet.

You can dream and pray and do the

down-dog. It’s all good.  But you

still must let go of control  because

you never had it. Control is a tar baby.

Control is an angel made of snow.

Say it with me now: it is a cancer to

believe you are in control. This

is what I am told here in the long line

that leads to enlightenment. This

is what the dog told me before it taught

me how to lie down. This is what

the child told me before it began to

play with the sun. And this is what I now

tell myself, right before the perfect sleep.