1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. Prairie Octopus, Awake
Prairie Octopus, Awake

Related Poem Content Details

The night’s turned everything to junipers
shagged & spooked with cerulean chalk-fruit,
weird berries whiffing of Martians in rut.
I forget this isn’t my universe
sometimes. Sometimes I think I was falling
most of my life to land here, a lone skirl
in the immaculate hush. In my world
I waltzed with my ink-self, my black shantung.

Owls swallow vowels in stilled trees. It’s not
sleeplessness, it’s fear of what the dark will
do if I don’t keep a close eye on it.
Blue minutes leak from the pricked stars’ prisms,
seep into the earth unchecked. Just as well—
I’ve hardly enough arms to gather them.

Source: Poetry (December 2008)

More from this issue

This poem originally appeared in the December 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.Search the whole site

Prairie Octopus, Awake

Related Poem Content Details

  • Poet Nicky Beer has earned degrees from Yale University, the University of Houston, and the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is the author of the poetry collection The Diminishing House (2010), and recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Award, the Louis Untermeyer Fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She currently teaches at the University of Colorado Denver, where she co-edits the journal Copper Nickel. 

  • Poem Categorization

    If you disagree with this poem's categorization make a suggestion.
  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.Search the whole site

Other Information