Mad Lib

By Virginia Bell


After Lyn Hejinian’s “I found a wing today when walking”

I found a young woman today when walking—
she was running in her bare feet on the hot sidewalk.

We chatted at the intersection’s red light—
it’s better not to run on the grass, she clarified.

The grass can hide glass, stone, or even
unevenness, surprise.

Pavement is reassuringly transparent—
the sidewalk sings its sins.

Speaking of description: isn’t _______________ like that?
Cozy as television—at first—

some days, though, a trompe l’oeil.
A sharp shard in your scrambled eggs.


VIRGINIA BELL is the author of From the Belly (Sibling Rivalry Press 2012). Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, is forthcoming in Gargoyle and Ricochet Review, and has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Cloudbank, CALYX, Poet Lore, Pebble Lake Review, Wicked Alice, Ekphrasis, and other journals, as well as in the anthologies The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss, Brute Neighbors: Urban Nature Poetry, Prose and Photography and A Writers’ Congress: Chicago Poets on Barack Obama’s Inauguration. Bell is an adjunct professor of English at Loyola University Chicago and a Senior Editor with RHINO Poetry. She has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and has published articles on Anne Carson, Eduardo Galeano, and Leslie Marmon Silko, as well as The Instructor’s Resource Manual for Beyond Borders: A Cultural Reader (Houghton Mifflin 2003).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *