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AR Dugan/Reader for Ploughshares


AR Dugan has an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. His poetry can be seen or is forthcoming in a number of literary magazines and reviews, most recently Salamander. He taught high school English in southeastern Massachusetts for nine years. AR reads poetry for Ploughshares and currently teaches literature and writing at Emerson College and Wheaton College. He lives in Boston.

Gravity Well

There was a cloud
pulling inside my right eye

when I woke up this morning:
the density, the collision

of pressure systems
drawn into smallest space, floating.

I try not to think about nerves,
the shrinking cavern in my grey matter,

just under layers of hair and bone
where the neuroma suckled. Is this

about revenge, to get back at me
for spying electromagnetically

then peeling its parts away in layers
and strips: caught with a tendril reaching

for my brain’s stem? I try not to think.
Is the hurt a ghost?

I want to give this feeling
a new home somewhere else

where I wouldn’t know—
wouldn’t always know—


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