Literature 8-25-2009

mnLIT presents: Neil Dyer

This week's mnLIT winner, from the What Light Poetry Project, is one of two selected for the 2009 cycle of's literary competition. This week's poem, "Compline," was selected by poet Dobby Gibson.

What Light winner, Neil Dyer
mnLIT: What Light Poetry Project and the miniStories flash fiction competition


An inclined head in the darkness

listens, listens as white

windmills excavate a

concavity somewhere

in the night; Lord, to lie

down there in the penetrating

quiet and will the pulse

to a sleepy horizontal plane,

a flat geometry with

Cartesian counterpanes, a

tessellation, an interlocking

staircase of dissolving

acids.  Long folds of wind

come off the Mongolian steppe

where no sticks

are found, where we make

fires from the dung

of bristle-maned horses;

on the bronze rock

knuckle I could see the endless

curvature of the earth; I could

see chariots and colored chargers;

sometimes I lie down

and dream myself there,

blood letting, letting blood

flow in an issue from my

starving heart, it

leaves me like a vapor

from a corpse.


About the poet: “My name is Neil Dyer and I am a resident of Moorhead, Minnesota. I was born in Bismarck, North Dakota, and have lived all of my life in the upper Midwest. I am married with three children and three grand children. I am by training a veterinarian, but have written poetry and prose since I was a teenager. My hobbies include reading, writing, bird watching, and bicycling.

About poetry, Dyer writes: “Poetry is an exercise in capturing images, and then using language in a way that appeals to the ear as well as the spirit. This “quest” for images is somewhat endless in that there is a perpetual challenge in trying to find new ways to present an emotion, experience or idea. I love words, the sound of words, and the manner in which they convey meaning. For me, poetry provides the richest medium in which to attempt such crafting.”

______________________________________________________ is a joint project of the Walker Art Center and the McKnight Foundation

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