David Starkey
I awake to the sound of a single letter
dropping through the mail slot. I hold it
to my nose; it smells of lemon grass and soil.
I don't recognize the return address
so I drop it in the trash, unopened.
My associates accuse me of being
a mystagogue, initiator
of the novitiate, but I'm a loudmouth,
too, baby. Better shut it up. Minutia
bothers me. I start the coffee, wash
my face. I'd trade a pound of horseflesh
for a pound of atmosphere any day.
Moderation isn't in my heritage.
The way water moves in wind, that's how I move.

David Starkey teaches in the writing program at the University of California-Santa Barbara and in the MFA program at Antioch University-Los Angeles. He is the author of a textbook, Poetry Writing: Theme and Variations (NTC, 1999), as well as several books of poems from small presses, most recently Fear of Everything, winner of Palanquin Press's Spring 2000 chapbook contest. In addition, over the past thirteen years David has published more than 250 poems in literary magazines such as American Scholar, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cutbank, High Plains Literary Review, The Journal, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, Sycamore Review, and Wormwood Review.


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