Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2016    fiction    all issues



Cover Carly Larsson

Sarah Sansolo
Bedtime Stories
& other poems

Miranda Cowley Heller
Things the Tide Has Discarded
& other poems

Alexa Poteet
Escobar's Hacienda Napoles
& other poems

Cynthia Robinson Young
Triple Dare
& other poems

Nicole Lachat
Of Infidelities
& other poems

Amy Nawrocki
Bad Girls
& other poems

Lawrence Hayes
Winter Climb
& other poems

AJ Powell
God the Baker
& other poems

Gisle Skeie
& other poems

Bruce Taylor
Always Expect a Train
& other poems

Ricky Ray
They Used to Be Things
& other poems

S. E. Ingraham
Storm Angels
& other poems

Laura Gamache
& other poems

Keighan Speer
It Rained Today
& other poems

Emma Atkinson
Grocery Stores Make Me Feel Mentally Ill
& other poems

Erin Lehrmann
& other poems

D. H. Turtel
Margaret, Again
& other poems

Chris Haug
Bovine Paranoia
& other poems

Kimberly M. Russo
Definitive Definition
& other poems

Holly Walrath
A Tourist of Sorts
& other poems

Angel C. Dye
Beauty in Her Marrow
& other poems

Writer's Site

Gisle Skeie


i. Rewording

And when we spoke about love,

we did not speak about love.

Instead we spoke about hands.

Some of them would be warm.

Some of them would be violent.

We did not speak about violence.

Instead we spoke about clouds.

It did not rain at all that day.

It did not rain much that year.

It was the most arid decade ever.

We gave in to internal liquids.

We did not speak about love.

Instead we spoke about history.

A hundred years since the flood.

See that building? we would say.

Everyone who lived there drowned.

ii. Relocating

We met a pilgrim in Santiago de Compostela,

and we were not surprised.

Later, in St. Petersburg, we found ourselves

eating tasteless tex mex.

But the rare steaks near to the Winter Palace,

they made us want each other.

Home again. Someone had stirred up a political

debate while we were away.

We made new plans to cross the Arctic Circle

to watch the midnight sun.

There are two more questions that need to be

answered, but spring is here.

I’m too fascinated by the migrant birds, at least

the ones who don’t return.

iii. Intermezzo

We shared the bread without

asking where it came from.

Strong winds all day.

Some believed in ghosts.

In the innermost rooms

there were no guests left.

We shared the wine without

knowing its country of origin.

Forecasts of heavy clouds,

but the rain never came.

Some woke up and felt compelled

to change their names or faces.

Some fell asleep while aching to

have their bodies replaced with air.

A tiger took shelter in the moss,

scaring up a flock of seagulls.

Then there was a series of events

that may or may not be of significance.

There is a lot more to add to this.

We are figuring out how to say it.

iv. Transference

In October I realized that

we were late for November.

When December came,

everything else was late, too.

I think I was planning to tell you

that I had been missing you, but

instead I told you how much

I wanted to sleep with you.

Christmas. Did we watch that movie?

I quit smoking, but it was a mistake.

New year. It was meant to be

someone else who quit smoking,

but they quit

something else instead.

I saw them.

They were trying so hard.

We, too, should try harder.

January. Snow, whiteness.

We can see the North Pole from here,

time is such a frozen little thing.

We could crush it, I guess.

If that would change anything.

v. Rearranging

Recall the vastness of indomitable youth and

the spirited hubris of juvenile lovemaking:

Next there were funeral drums in town, and

her sweater lost its scent of rain and wood.

We never went back in there, not after she

gave birth to a tiny creature in Suburbia East.

Next there was a silvery train arriving from

the last of the sieged cities. It was rumored

that the war prisoners had been left behind

to die. They all wore one-colored sweaters.

What color? We whispered in busy city streets,

we did not know what else to ask: What color?

Next we were summoned for questioning,

lining up in front of the home department,

where my one last question was dismissed:

‘Your honor, may I rephrase my entire life?’

Next there was an acid rain, and it flooded

the country, disfiguring everything except

for a few things, including a little boy on the

beach, lying face down in the ignorant sand.

It did not look a lot like love. Maybe it was

after all, but we did not speak about love.

Gisle Skeie (born 1974) lives in Norway. Theology, Literature, and Philosophy studies at the University of Oslo. Works in a non-profit organization concerned with international Human Rights issues. A handful of his poems have been featured in Little River and The Writing Garden (both US). Some of his poems and song lyrics in Norwegian (as well as music) have been published/recorded/broadcasted nationally.

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