about the author

C. Dylan Bassett’s poems are forthcoming in Anti-, Exit 7, DIAGRAM, iO Poetry, the Pinch, Salamander, Steam Ticket, Tar River Poetry, Word Riot and elsewhere. He attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and he is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and a 2012 Morrie Moss Fellowship for poetry.

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How Dreary to be Somebody

C. Dylan Bassett

“I Am Nobody! Who Are You?”
—Emily Dickinson

Nobody is going on a pilgrimage. Nobody is a serious
pilgrim. Nobody doubts the weather
but goes ahead regardless: Top of the mountain,
map made of glow, a straw-bed body to be dragged along.
Nobody puts on the moon and tries to climb a rung of stars.
Nobody really thinks God is up there sewing wings
onto the bodies of birds. Nobody thinks
there is a heaven and Nobody is following the shadow
river to get there. Nobody can live like this for a while:
free of thought, moving from one door to the next, until
suddenly Nobody is gripped by that daily hunger
and Nobody must eat.

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