Paul Clark: Lincoln Nebraska Poets Part One

Son of a judge

Continuing our place-specific, hale younger poets series, over the next week we’ll be featuring four poets from Lincoln, Nebraska. These poets are part of a group of writers, most graduates of the University of Nebraska, known towardly as Writer’s Group. They are all associated in one way or another with the sp ce gallery in downtown Lincoln. Paul Clark is our first feature. He grew up in McCook, NE and is co-founder of the sp ce gallery. The poet Greg Kuzma, serving as a reverence, once told a potential landlord that Paul has “the most acute sense of justice” of any writer he has ever known. He lives in Omaha and has more to say about the sun at




what if we couldn’t swim to glaciery glaciers.

there are parks for not seeing what you are.


it’s irrigation.  it’s fancy.  it’s such a obvious

extension of thirst.  firstwise: why enter


into an agreement with the sun if the sun is

gradually becoming 10% more luminous every 1 billion years.


why tell a story about those who committed

& were not more.  & sand isn’t more.  sand isn’t glass.


glass isn’t stained.  it’s raining.  there’s a TV on.

& none of those things will always be true.


i don’t think that joke “you don’t count” is funny, really.

but really, i know.


i could chew chewing gum for years,

& i could blow bubbles,


& you could watch the bubbles,

& you could pop the bubbles,


& you could wear the bubbles,

& the bubbles could be a life for us,


& a life made out of chewing gum bubbles is a life,

until it isn’t.


“Really, you’re very special to cry when things get broken,

to cry when you have broken things.”


that’s a line.

the next line is about everything breaking.


1. breathing through bronze is impossible.

2. i hate you & declarative statements.


3. heard on the radio: “they were plundered

by the plunderers who plundered them.”


4. a stranger sent this message on Facebook: “I’m handing it over to you.  Keep up the cause.  Thank you for your kind comments.”


5. this is where the poem really begins,

think of everything else as a conceptual title.


6. the level of alcohol

directly correlates to the frequency of thoughts re: ‘obtaining a rope.’


7. i don’t look like a cantaloupe,

but i feel like cantaloupe.


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