Dolefully, A Rampart Stands

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A collection of haunting, image-rich poems about isolation, captivity, and vanishing.

The poems in Paige Ackerson-Kiely's third collection are set primarily in the rural northeast of America, and explore rural poverty, entrapment, captivity, violence, and a longing to vanish. Ranging from free verse to a long noir prose poem, they examine who her, or our, "captors" might be. Ackerson-Kiely is interested in characters who are aware of their foibles, and who find ways to turn away from those problems in search of connection and freedom.
Inventory of Ramparts
 
The pier shed its long
splinters into the lake.
 
A dinghy rubbed the side of the dock
but the dock was still.
 
Some kids ditched a canoe in the reeds
—the boy’s voice was a reed—
 
they pulled it up the embankment by a rope
where no one could see it from water
 
or shore. His voice covered everything.
This isn’t an opportunity to talk about the body,

how many dogs you get to have over
the course of a life. I’d reckon 6, if you take
 
good care of them. I’m going back in time
to hold the boy’s head underwater.
 
Just to give him a little scare. The canoe
had vanished when they returned
 
and his voice became a basket
pushed down a river—nothing specific—
 
and anyway, this isn’t an occasion to talk
about the body. I’m busy going, I need

to go, back through those boggy years to kiss
all of the dogs. Hard, on the mouth.
© Paige Ackerson-Kiely
Paige Ackerson-Kiely is the author of two poetry collections, In No One's Land and My Love is a Dead Arctic Explorer. She is a generalist and lives in Peekskill, New York. View titles by Paige Ackerson-Kiely

About

A collection of haunting, image-rich poems about isolation, captivity, and vanishing.

The poems in Paige Ackerson-Kiely's third collection are set primarily in the rural northeast of America, and explore rural poverty, entrapment, captivity, violence, and a longing to vanish. Ranging from free verse to a long noir prose poem, they examine who her, or our, "captors" might be. Ackerson-Kiely is interested in characters who are aware of their foibles, and who find ways to turn away from those problems in search of connection and freedom.

Excerpt

Inventory of Ramparts
 
The pier shed its long
splinters into the lake.
 
A dinghy rubbed the side of the dock
but the dock was still.
 
Some kids ditched a canoe in the reeds
—the boy’s voice was a reed—
 
they pulled it up the embankment by a rope
where no one could see it from water
 
or shore. His voice covered everything.
This isn’t an opportunity to talk about the body,

how many dogs you get to have over
the course of a life. I’d reckon 6, if you take
 
good care of them. I’m going back in time
to hold the boy’s head underwater.
 
Just to give him a little scare. The canoe
had vanished when they returned
 
and his voice became a basket
pushed down a river—nothing specific—
 
and anyway, this isn’t an occasion to talk
about the body. I’m busy going, I need

to go, back through those boggy years to kiss
all of the dogs. Hard, on the mouth.

Author

© Paige Ackerson-Kiely
Paige Ackerson-Kiely is the author of two poetry collections, In No One's Land and My Love is a Dead Arctic Explorer. She is a generalist and lives in Peekskill, New York. View titles by Paige Ackerson-Kiely

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