Four Poems by Nance Van Winckel


Found in Willow Springs 68

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"Outlaw Mentality"

—that's what the coroner says caught you up,
brought you down. A life of that fuck-that
stalled on the track. Hat on one side,
broken noggin with its go-
your-own-way dream
bled out on the other.

I catch your drift. To wake and stuff it
down. To sleep as it opens out. Me
and my wire cutters; widening
the fence hole. I know exactly
how few snips will
get me through.


White-hot, black-hard, the rails return
for mister you and mister not-you—there
on the path that leads to the path. Once
it fit your shoe. Blood-crust and blue-fly hum,
the one who's caught your whiff
slinks through the hole, stands
in the meadow. So like a wave,
the track goes out and comes back. REAL
ON STEEL claims the freight car
clanging into the by and bye.

Alive at the End of the World

(Gnome with Ax)


Sand and the glue from dead horses
made me. . .so you'd know me. Thirteen
seconds in a store window—you see
I'm you rowing away in a rogue dream.

Give me the full brunt of sun
on your door stoop. Make me
|the stopper atop the lower city
with its brute animal wails
I'll hear for you, loudly so.

One day you won't have a mind
to change anymore
about where I'll live on, or how,
without you.


Because B

Your arrival, admit it, was up
and out of the mud. So what,
here you are. One four o'clock
you walk across the lake.
Its ice creaks: gut syllables,
lingo between fish and fowl.

You'd refused the skates because
A) surely then you'd have to
perform a spin, and B) they could
hurt the ice. You its executioner,
you the handle turning the blade.


Last Address

What gold flitter has made of your ear
a hive? Clouds tug loose a last dream

and now the rainfall bears down
your secrets. The question's not

if the river had its way with you,
spit you out as a small inquiry

unfit for the big answer. No,
the question won't pertain to tattoos

or unmatchable DNA, but to what
world, under what sun, in what situ

we go on finding each you, each you,
the not-missed, the never missing.


We stand at the foot of you.
Bees and swallows rustle the grass

around half flesh, half bone, half
here, half gone. Dot of earth: nothing

owed or owned. Once you were a bud
in someone's belly. A swim, a sleep,

then to crown your way out. Keep
mum. Keep it to yourself, Little Prince

of the Reigning Question,
the would-you-do-it-all-again
there there, now now.


Found on the bank of the
Spokane River at approximately
2200 W. Falls Street. Adult
Caucasian male. This male was 5
feet 11 inches in height and
weighed approximately 161
pounds. His hair was dark brown
or possibly black. Clothing
worn: a pair of black lace up
boots with a brand name listed
as "CORCORAN," a pair of black
socks, a pair of light blue
denim pants with a brand name
listed as "RUSTLER," a pair of
red slightly meshed under
shorts, a dark colored T-Shirt
with the size listed as
medium and a name brand of
Identification information
obtained, no match found.
Fingerprints unobtainable.
#10042 Spokane County
Medical Examiner's Records






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