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Dave Lucas

Dave Lucas is the author of Weather (VQR / Georgia, 2011), which received the 2012 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. From 2018 to 2019, he served as the poet laureate of the State of Ohio. A cofounder of Cleveland Book Week and Brews + Prose at Market Garden Brewery, he lives in Cleveland, where he was born and raised.



Winter 2022 | Poetry

Even here. Even now the heavy industry
of the everyday, making to be unmade,
where a word is the world between us.

If I Were Not Alexander

December 3, 2020 | Poetry

I would be Diogenes. Swing my lamp
through these dishonest days in search.
I myself have looked the known world
over and given everything a new name.

Two Medicine

December 3, 2020 | Poetry

Imagine you could learn 
the names of every river,
each upthrust mountain
and fault folded on itself:

Last Supper

December 3, 2020 | Poetry

I cannot remember the last meal I shared with my father.
Only those long last nights slipping him what ice chips
he could still stomach and then swabbing his chapped lips
with a wetted pink sponge.

The Household Gods

December 3, 2020 | Poetry

Forgive me, 
I have smuggled them away
from my father’s house to this sodden pitch
in the middle of my life, their names 
asleep under my tongue. I have walked

If Not Aeneas

Spring 2016 | Poetry

I descended into the underworld again
in my dream and there for the umpteenth time 
stood my father in a plaid button-down shirt
and khakis a freshly lit pipe a wreath of smoke 

Lives of the Saints

In all the paintings they share the look of impatience, as if embarrassed by the rich oils, the stretched canvas in which their gaze is caught, down to the pupil. Here, among the attributes of lion and wolf, the transverse cross, they suffer the [...]

I Am Not What I Am: The Poetry of Mark Strand

Fall 2006 | Criticism

As his reputation has grown, however, into that oxymoronic epithet “famous poet,” Strand has engaged that self, satirized it, and refashioned it as a subject for his poems. If Richard Howard is right when he says that “the poems . . . narrate the moment when Strand makes Rimbaud’s discovery, that je est un autre, that the self is someone else, even something else”—then in the early poems the Strand persona rejects itself.

And in the later poems the Strand persona mocks the persona of Mark Strand.

At the Cuyahoga Flats

Winter 2006 | Poetry

Here, in the river’s oxbow-bend and silt, the muddy unmarked grave of Republic Steel. Here is the elegy to ore and pellet: inertial loaders, the quiet of the mill. See how deliberate the passing barge— as if somewhere hotter furnaces are lit. Ru [...]

The Fox

Winter 2006 | Poetry

Because the hunted learn a furtive grace that hunters never know: pursued, escape becomes an art of need, as serfs took tripe discarded from the master’s table-place and founded haute cuisine. And so, the hounded fox, hidden two dogs deep in earth [...]