Joan Colby

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Enter the world with your improbable sutures and blockhead.
You were conceived in spectral moonlight,
A devastation of evolution.

Her idea sprang from a bet,Artwork by Gene McCormick
Something casual as
Putting on a slipper.

Confess, you were not up to what
She envisioned, a miracle
Of innocence, without sin

No legs entwined to beget you.
In that age, science was just
Assuming its white coat

And speculum. Yet, she chose
A drafty castle for the set,
Miasma of steam and shock

All sorts of special effects
To prise Bethlehem back into its book
Of simplicity. You were no good

That large hulking stride,
How people turned away, even the child
At first, frightened, but then

Compassion opened its petals.
You were struck dumb, a prickling
In your cadaver coat.

Watching her float
What did you feel if anything.
Your author forecast a journey

The latitudes of fear
Costumed your foolish career.
Her intention was serious

A parable like those that made
Jesus famous. Yet, there was always
Something dubious, something deflated

Like the prayer of an atheist.
She blamed it on the moon
That night in Cologny

 Confusing her dreams
The names too became confused
In all the resurrected Halloweens

Master and monster united
In one garbled body
Lurching door to door.



Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review's James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010). She is the editor of Illinois Racing News and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 10 books including The Lonely Hearts Killers, The Atrocity Book and her newest book from Future Cycle Press—“Dead Horses.” FutureCycle will also publish “Selected Poems” in 2013.