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Dead Center

by Douglas Cole

Somewhere, an old man is sitting in his dim cabin trying to make out these words.  Did I write this? Muttering, fire crackling. He’s wondering, as ideas leap off the page,  so to speak. And he’s free, now, of all the worry and weight that gets measured  at the official border, the kind of thing you pat your coat pockets looking for,  saying, now where did I…as the guard rolls his eyes.

Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry and a novella. His work has appeared in several anthologies as well as The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Louisiana Literature and Slipstream. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle.  His website is


Archive, The River

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