The Works of Corey Mesler

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). His first full length poetry collection, Some Identity Problems (2008), is out from Foothills Publishing and his book of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations, will appear in March 2009. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and one of his poems was chosen for Garrison Keillors Writers Almanac. He has two children, Toby, age 20, and Chloe, age 12. With his wife, he runs Burkes Book Store, one of the countrys oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He also claims to have written These Boots are Made for Walking. He can be found at

All Poems © Corey Mesler

Carole Lombard Again


Carole Lombard steps out

of the shower.

She’s wearing nothing but

Clark Gable’s smile.

I lay her across my big brass

bed. She says,

‘You’ve got gorilla balls,

lover. Take me

the way Godfrey

took Irene.” It was later that

we heard the plane descend,

its engine

grinding like a new headstone.





"I told people I was a drummer before I even had a set. I was a mental drummer."

   --Keith Moon


For my sixtieth birthday my wife

has given me a set of drums.

In truth I got them early to help

assuage a grief; Jennifer

had committed suicide.

Let’s say the bass drum is the heart.

Let’s say the high-hat is the brain.

Let’s say the non-music I make

bears could dance to. Now

let’s say that Jennifer can

hear it, in the place she is, so far

away it takes a drummer,

a bad, self-doubting drummer,

to make the noise her soul can hear.


On Your Hair, Etc.

Your hair could house the

post-modernists. Your

eyes are nickels left in the

sun. Your smile, when

you use it, can sharpen wits.

And from here it looks like

another long year, another year

of living indoors, speechless,

dreaming of sleeping in your hair.

Private Showing

They made a movie

about my private affairs.

It had a private showing.

The people who came

recognized themselves

or didnt. The movie rolled

on like a magnetic river.

Near the end someone in

the crowd swooned

and there was a brief inter-

mission. I admit watching

myself made me squirm.

It wasnt the untruth that

was awkward, it was

the black and white thinking.

After the film we all

gathered at a gathering place.

The film was to be discussed

and my life gone over again.

I bought a round for every-

one and settled back in my

chair. I promised myself

I would only speak when

spoken to. There were too

many close-ups of his

privates, one friend began.

Everyone joined in after that.

The discussion was livelier

than a madman's dream.

The New Man in your Life

Hell give you something

you already own

and you will act as if it were

your finest gift.

Hell smile like a coffin closing

and youll start to

sweat an exit strategy. And

just when he gets

comfortable youll wake up with

the antidote in your mind.

Youll run to write it down before

it dissolves the way dreams dissolve.

The thing he gave you will blacken on

your nightstand, a precise remuneration.