Thick With Conviction - A Poetry Journal
thick with conviction a poetry journal

Taylor Graham


I come onstage, a flotilla of exotic
flowers – hibiscus flaming at the center,
smoldering Granada roses, crimson
poppies, cactus blooms transported
far beyond the desert

home of those jerks in the front row,
those brothers who slip in
on filthy coin and diesel.
Some jackass town
where Dairy Queen’s the hot date.

But every lovely blossom
drops her petals. Sulky as smudged
lipstick, I fling off this
scarlet flame, to exit stage-
left in phoenix feathers.


[ for Theodore Roethke]

In a dark time, the edge of sleep
is a dotted line between yesterday’s
complete sentences and the coming

timeless dream-speak with its
broken-mirror images, negatives,
designs of colored beads, the shapes

that bleed into uncountable hours
of the dark, the prime, the shadow
that I meet: myself, not sleep.

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada, and also helps her husband (a retired wildlife biologist) with his field projects. Her poems have appeared in International Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Poetry International, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere, and she's included in the anthology, California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004). Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor (Texas Review Press, 2006) is winner of the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her latest is Among Neighbors (Rattlesnake Press, 2007).

 Current Issue:
January 2008


L. Ward Abel
Gary Beck
Melinda Blount
Chris Crittenden
Caitlin Crowley
Taylor Graham
Paul Hostovsky
Michael Keshigian
Corey Mesler
Tim Poland