Posted by: Rachel Mallino | November 3, 2009

Dysfunctional Batch #15 – Corey Mesler

About the (dys)functional poet:
Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published two novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002) and We Are BillionYear-Old Carbon (2006). He has also published numerous chapbooks and one full-length poetry collection, Some Identity Problems. His book of short stories, Listen, will appear in 2009. He has been nominated for a Pushcart numerous times, and one of his poems was chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis TN. He can be found at


I am for the revolution.
I will help line them up
against the wall.
Tell me now if you’re with
me or against me. I
will be waiting outside with
my flamethrower.
I will be the one with the
flamethrower. Tell
your friends and neighbors
that I will be quiet no longer.
Tell them my name is
Convulsion. My name is
Change. Tell them it’s
all over, the long feeding.

Gathering, Disruption

(1) Gathering

The swelling comes and
goes. The light fails.

We come from a country
of snow and coal, one
woman says.

Another man all afternoon
watches the door being built
into the strong white wall.

(2) Disruption

One woman
falls among the discarded

The water leaks into
the vacant corners.

At night
someone comes with a flashlight,
someone plans to leave
while it’s still dark.

During the Revolution

………………..“Into this furnace I ask you now to venture.”

………………………………–Leonard Cohen

Outside it’s raining pre-
positional phrases again.
The streets are full of
roughage, lily flames in the
gutters.  One man walked into
a coma, crying, Never work!
Meanwhile, I started
my period with a heavily sodden
semi-colon. A letter came.
It told me they needed another
novel. I told the wife I
would be in the basement for the
next few months. She looked
at me with the eyes of
the baby she lost during the
last revolution. On her hip she
carried a bouncing carbine.
I ate my last meal silently, only
the tv had the courage to
say what we were all thinking.
The sounds of its game shows
echoed up and down the
Haussmann streets. I opened
a window. Through the looking
glass fell in and broke.
I had no money either. Still
there is much to do and see
during the revolution. There are
myriad ways to forget your private life.



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