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Denise Banker is the publicist for Copper Canyon Press and lives in Port Townsend, WA. She took her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 2005. As a student, she won an Academy of American Poets prize, was chosen for the Louise VanSickle Prize in Poetry, and received the Dudley Bailey Fellowship for her academic and creative work. Her poems and articles have appeared in Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace, The ALAN Review, Potato Eyes,Crazy Woman Creek, Plains Song Review, and Prairie Schooner.  

Omaha LitFest
Nebraska Center for Writers


A Poem:

Rage, rage against the dying of the light
                --Dylan Thomas


When you hear the words
Flood Doctor’s mouth,

six months,
you pull inside.

Out here
in the ice water
of death’s coming,

I work the room,
your relatives,
your appointments,

your foods,
take your phone calls,
dismiss the sightseers.

I figure-eight
your wallflower

Your peel back
layers of
black cancer,

its moist sacks
where your lungs

We cry alone.
Crows come,
You say, every night.

You say, as fast as I peel
It’s back; I can’t keep up.
The crows levitate me, you say.


Nothing to be done.
You turn
Shutdown your energy.


There are no flowers here.
Red, orchid,
like an exotic bird,
I want feathers
in every color.
I want to swallow
breathe color,
I want light’s return
inside me.


[First appeared in Prairie Schooner, Winter 2006]


Denise Banker
Port Townsend, WA
Email Denise

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