Rattle: Poets Respond


The online poetry magazine Rattle has a cool weekly feature, a poem responding to current events. Rattle overall is a pretty great little zine, but I like the challenge of a weekly response-to-now and so I'm going to try and submit every week. I'm not in it for the fifty bucks, though---I'm in it for the craft.

This first week's submission just got rejected, so I'm going to share it here. I'm not surprised it wasn't chosen; besides the over-a-hundred-competitors-a-week thing, it just wasn't all that great. The sort of poem you let lie fallow for a few weeks before returning to it. But that wasn't an option!

Here you are:

A Sonnet for Iowa

The apocalypse is scheduled for Monday,
she says outside her usual channels of irony.
The apocalypse, she says, starting in Iowa. And who
could have seen that coming? I mean—trampolines
were invented in Iowa, sure, and I'm not alone in my
broken-boned childhood, but the only existential
concerns I recall are those I shared with Michael Collins,
1969, as he flew alone around the moon.

The rapture is near. He smiles as he changes channels,
searching for more good news. He will caucus as he waits,
not because it will matter but because, come judgment,
he wishes to declare that he has done his share, disregarding
that no mere man can return the lost to innocence and glory.
Touch me. Touch me, Son of God.

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