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Featured Reader

Joel Katz
 

Virtual Event on May 14th, 2024–6:00 P.M to 8:00 P.M.

Live stream will be available on our YouTube Channel at the time of the event!

Joel Katz

Joel Thomas Katz (www.joelthomaskatz.com) lives in Palo Alto, California. His poems have appeared in Sand Hill Review, Montserrat Review, West Wind Review, Spillway, Caesura, DMQ Review, Red Wheelbarrow and MacQueen’s Quinterly. His latest books are Aqueduct (2023) and Erase | Endure (2020), both published by Dutch Poet Press. Joel has also co-translated poems by contemporary Dutch poets Ingmar Heytze and Saskia Stehouwer.

BLACKSMITH

Today you are an animal, whacking a metal arm
into an idea

what the bellows add: elbow-room

the sparks: drama

and your tongs: detachment

Today you are an animal
— some other day, just a washcloth

Heating the metal over the forge
turns it into what a dream isn’t
— durable

Again and again: whack, sparks, hiss of cold water

A dream lasts till the coals die
and that is the end of one night

an ingot

  The forest was tired …

and really needed a break from

being a forest — all those animals,

all that shade! — wanted

a stand-in for a few hours

o how the forest longed

for a compact situation: cafe,

bowling alley or an art

house movie (so appealing

mid-day)

                       and why not

take off the entire day

or even a weekend? it all came down

to the pool of availables

 it was time to contact Place Holders™

see if anyone was free . . .

then the forest decided

not to return, the stand-in stranded

in the clearing, waiting     waiting     till

the only thing to do was call

and report a forest missing