The poetry of Donald Illich

The Episode

On the last episode I was shot out
of a cannon, never to be seen again.
Or I was sent into the army, to storm

No Man’s Land, to disappear in a puff
of smoke.  Maybe I was thrown off a cliff
by an arch-villain, and no one saw me land,

no one knew where I went.  The number
of programs is infinite, each one leading
to a mysterious ending that keeps

the audience wondering forever.
If the director wanted something else,
she never told anyone.  She filmed

the script, written by an unknown
number of scribes so no one could take
credit.  In her chair she called cut on the scene,

with me suspended in air, diving for my life.
The set vanishes, except for my body.
The lights turn off.  I’m framed by the moon.

























Donald Illich has published poetry in journals such as The Iowa Review, Fourteen Hills, and Cold Mountain Review. He won Honorable Mention in the Washington Prize book contest. He recently published a book, Chance Bodies (The Word Works, 2018).

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