Rich Ives

My Neighbor’s Car Garden


I have a neighbor whose flexible pearls of wisdom

dumb me down. The patient mirrors of his seeded dreams


have a reason when I’m listening, but every flower breaks new ground,

and the evening lies down. That’s one thing. Another has been gone since


before I started, the more patient neighbor. A rumor, she was killed by a wall

that couldn’t continue being a wall. It fell with patient deliberate ease,


a predetermined accident. There’s something beautiful about it

that strikes me like the repetitively mottled lunatic ecstasy of


lungwort in early spring. Like unseasonal harvests of attractive hornets.

Like feeding eggshells to the chickens. There are sailors born


on the independent ocean who have never known this land. They seem

to be waiting for someone among us where night is still snow


and falls differently every evening, like gently approaching shadow-brides.

We keep them in the snow room, call it Dementia and set it apart.


We put such experience in pills and keep the pills close. We do not take the pills

anywhere because Dementia is angry. Her mother does lots of bad things


and is buried beside the parking lot. There is no building for the parking lot,

but you can smell the guilty cabbage, the damp necessary invitations of rust.

Rich Ives lives on Camano Island in Puget Sound. He has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Dublin Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily, and many more. He is a winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander and has been nominated twice for the Best of the Web, three times for Best of the Net and six times for The Pushcart Prize. He is the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air Magazine. Tunneling to the Moon, a book of days with a work for each day of the year, is available from Silenced Press; Sharpen, a fiction chapbook, is available form Newer York Press, and Light from a Small Brown Bird, a book of poems, is available from Bitter Oleander Press. He is also the winner of the What Books Press Fiction Competition, and his story collection, The Balloon Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking, is now available.



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A CLOSER LOOK: Barbara Crooker

Bruce Bennett

Lucia Cherciu

Philip Dacey

Jane Ellen Glasser

Erica Goss

Elise Hempel

Alec Hershman

Rich Ives

Michael Jones

Kathryn Kirkpatrick

Sandra Kohler

Charlotte Mandel

G.H. Mosson

Simon Perchik

Oliver Rice

David Salner

Robert Joe Stout

Anne Harding Woodworth on Rebecca Foust

Richard Lee Zuras

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