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  • Explicating Bluefield
  • Rick Mulkey (bio)

If you sound the body's deepest riddles,map its secret paths from eyelash to thigh,and leave with a longing that can only bedescribed as Bluefield, Virginia in Aprilwhen the air still tingles with the memoryof December and the hemlocksstand frosted and silent at sunrise,then flesh is no longer the jailerthat confines you, for ecstasyreveals itself in all the hidden remnantsand moments, in ditch water reflections,in the unrelenting crow combing the alleysand parks for the brilliance boundin bottle caps and chewing gum foil,in all the light might hold. [End Page 50]

Rick Mulkey

Rick Mulkey is the author of five books and chapbooks including, Ravenous: New & Selected Poems, Toward Any Darkness, Bluefield Breakdown, and Before the Age of Reason. Previous work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Poet Lore, Shenandoah, The Literary Review, Connecticut Review, Poetry East, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volumes I and III. Mulkey currently directs and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Converse College.



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