Issue > Poetry
Dave Nielsen

Dave Nielsen

Dave Nielsen is a PhD student in English at the University of Cincinnati ('14). He received a master's degree from Brigham Young University and a bachelor's from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. His poems have appeared in American Literary Review, The Massachusetts Review, Ploughshares, and other magazines.

In A Poem About My Father

the image of a horse leaning over the water
may be more than a horse leaning over the water.

One must be aware
of all of the possible connotations

of the word father. A complete knowledge
is impossible but the desire towards it, admirable.

The words "I love you" may be out of place,
the way a backpack left in an airport is also out of place.

A poem about my father may require further reading,
a Biblical scholar, whole cities of interpreters.

It is perhaps better done in a painting
or in the language that a fire speaks.

Certainly the image of a man reading to his son is safe?
Father, mother, brother, and sisó

in a poem about my father,
I have fallen from a horse leaning over the water.

Unfinished Figures

In Frederic Bazille's "The Terrace at Meric,"
the outline of a woman
sitting on a bench:
ghost-like, in the shade
of a very straight trunked tree:
you get the picture
it is the outline of a dream.
And the shade of the tree is dark,
in contrast to the hot sun
on the oleander bushes,
so that the woman becomes
a dark thought.
And there, in the window,
at the far back of the world,
in the window of the big house,
another outline,
this one not as sharp, so that it seems
there was one ghost the artist was sure of,
and then one that he wasn't.

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