Possessing What Possesses Me

“My spirit in the bear knows both

ends of the spear,” a shaman chants.

Catullus waits behind him, toga floating.

Open mic night livens up the afterlife.

A Goth girl’s punch line bounces

off a Ouija board, finding a woman

possessed by vacationing demons.

“Just another day at the fun factory!”

she hisses at the nurses in Tagalog.

Not her, though it’s her tongue.

Same way a leaf lands on my brain

and phrases flood me. Li Po moans,

“So many poems, but no moon.”






Michael Kriesel, 50,  is a poet and reviewer whose work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly, Antioch Review, Crab Creek Review, Rattle, Small Press Review, Library Journal, Nimrod, North American Review, Rosebud, and the Progressive. He served on the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission from 2006-2008, and won the 2011 Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest, the 2009 Wisconsin Fellowship Of Poets Muse Prize, and the 2004 Lorine Niedecker Poetry Prize from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. He was featured poet for the 2010 Great Lakes Writers Festival. Books include Chasing Saturday Night: Poems About Rural Wisconsin (Marsh River Editions) and Moths Mail the House (Sunnyoutside). He’s also the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Conference Coordinator. He has a B.S. in Literature from the University of the State of New York, and was a print and broadcast journalist in the U.S. Navy from 1980-1990. He’s currently a janitor at the rural elementary school he once attended.