The Works of Rick Marlatt 

Rick Marlatt teaches English in Nebraska, and he is currently pursuing a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside at Palm Desert. Marlatt’s most recent publications include New York Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine, and Plain Songs Review. Marlatt performs as an actor, poet, and writer, most recently, winning the University of Nebraska Sigma Tau Delta Short Fiction Slam.

All Poems © Rick Marlatt

Check out his chapbook How We Fall Apart, Winner of the 2010 SCP Chapbook Contest 


I've always wanted to wake up glittering all over

           to sparkle in the snapdragons like a brilliant winking sky

to sear diamonds up and down the skin of a sycamore

           to bleed from the tip of Solzhenitsyn’s pen

to etch stars into the brick of vine street’s shelled apartments

           to shower under sunrise the light passing through me like a miracle

to hold the world down long enough to taste its pulse

           to swathe your body as it shivers below

to stitch my soft cold into each curve

           to carve my name into your voice hovering thick like silver vapor

to watch it go to crystal as your ginger moans dye the horizon

           always feel the world tremble when you ignite the breath


Last night I dreamt bodies falling out of the sky

                                     in slow motion like sweeping snowflakes

             and rainbow-edged leaves

                                      arms stretched outward like a herring

                          faces pure, naked

the sky emptying

                                                  dusting off its fingers

                                        today I pull burning stars from heaven

              with hands that keeping wanting to fly away

taste a single drop of coffee from a woman’s lip

feel the tickling curl of blood in nostril tip

                its rain over toe knuckles     its splay over the shower floor

                            its thin drain-ward swirl

hear the metallic roll of a pen

     in a silent room

                                               its metallic roll and smack

watch sunfish carve

                       sharp bodies into the water

at the end of a jump                          synchronized, beautiful

and your whisper

                                              like the beginning of wind

makes me think I’ll collapse

                                                            into my own cold shadow

            synchronized, beautiful

and know with ferocious certainty

                         the invisible force that pulls my body back into yours

           body back into yours

                              our eyes dropping off into vacant worlds

                      the sky forever emptying

                                              the light falling, falling.