Size / / /

I too dislike it.

But something has to keep the garden free

of insects and apparitions.

It is here, this poultry,

to see clearly that nothing is there

and see that nothing clearly:

that there is

no apparition in the shroud

and nonetheless collect

the apparitions of those faces

in the crowd.

Picture someone scattering seeds of light

that will blossom into faces,

real or unreal.

Think of a subway tunnel through the turnips,

its mole moving assiduously through it,

a buried light cutting its path through ink.

The chickens.

The red wheelbarrow.

The toad that carries its ruby,

a searchlight

in the center of its head.

Think about poultry.

Try not to think about poetry.




Duane Ackerson's poetry has appeared in Rolling Stone, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Cloudbank, alba, Starline, Dreams & Nightmares, and several hundred other places. He has won two Rhysling awards and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Salem, Oregon. You can find more of his work in our archives.
Current Issue
30 Jun 2020

Finding your community can feel like finding home and family
Something knocks on the door. Esther, dreaming, would like to ignore it. Instead, she blinks awake and grabs her shotgun, because dead things typically call for bullets, not spell work, and whatever wants inside her home is certainly dead.
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In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Carlie St. George's “Monsters Never Leave You.”
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In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents the poetry from the June 29th issue.
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Issue 22 Jun 2020
By: Neha Maqsood
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Neha Maqsood
Issue 15 Jun 2020
By: Remy Reed Pincumbe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Preston Grassmann
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Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Keaton Bennett
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Issue 2 Jun 2020
By: Sheree Renée Thomas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Maggie Damken
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Issue 1 Jun 2020
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Strange Horizons
Issue 25 May 2020
By: Dana Wilde
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Issue 18 May 2020
By: Johnny Compton
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By: Jong-Ki Lim
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Issue 11 May 2020
By: Gabriela Santiago
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ashley Bao
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Issue 4 May 2020
By: Vida Cruz
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By: Raimo Kangasniemi
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Apr 2020
By: Tamara Jerée
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: L. D. Lewis
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: L. D. Lewis
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