Geography of the Dream

by on Jul 29, 2016

We seek our houses, we swim, we fly, we lose
Our keys, misplace the car, find our beloved dead
Wearing fedoras and hats with veils.

We ride horses, we arrive in class
Unprepared, our notes missing,
We appear on the avenue of the naked.

We make excuses, solve mysteries we are pursued
By spies, we climb scaffolds, panic in elevators.
We are not ourselves

Or we are young again and passionate.
The images dissolve in feelings so intense
We wake shuddering. We write down

What we can remember. The lover faceless and nameless
The university of discovery.
The boiler room where bad things happen.


Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, etc. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 16 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. She has two books forthcoming in 2016 and 2017. One of her poems is among the winners of the 2016 Atlantic Review International Poetry Contest. Colby is also a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Kentucky Review.

Lines on a Postcard

by on Aug 13, 2015

There is never room enough
For a script so large with
Wanting it can’t collapse
Its cursive waves into the
Reverse of a beach. The margins
Overrun with riptides, scribbled
Conchs or scallops. Jellyfish umbrellas
Sail over consonants struggling to surface.
A delicate hand is required. A heart
That hemorrhages wishes
For your presence.


Joan Colby has 16 books including Selected Poems, The Wingback Chair, Ah Clio, Properties of Matter and others. She has published in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, etc. and won many awards. Her latest book Ribcage won the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Her website is