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Doug Van Hooser

Doug Van Hooser

Doug Van Hooser’s poetry has appeared in Chariton Review, Split Rock Review, Manhattanville Review, and Poetry Quarterly among other publications. His fiction can be found in Red Earth Review, Crack the Spine, and Light and Dark. Doug is a playwright active at Three Cat Productions and Chicago Dramatists Theatre.


I know what I don’t want to know
how many flowers the butterfly touches
wings nodding yes in the bloom’s vulva
how many stones the currents etch
carve a memory scar
yesterdays are snowflakes the wind piles and shifts
drifts that harden in the cold sun’s bright blindness
my imprint steps that crack the brittle surface
until suddenly the veneer gives way
I trip and fall face down in the stinging cold
my heat melts in tears
I tell myself what I don’t want to know
I can’t desert I am never alone on the island
I am never as innocent as yesterday
I’ve always known what I won’t admit
the tide recedes reveals the shore
grains of sand can’t cover
the abandoned shells broken in the surf

a few notes of graceful futility

when did we abandon each other
the excuses all dragonflies
skimming the pond’s still surface
our choice: hitch to separate posts
gaze at unnamed stars
that glitter outside our constellation
carrion crows perch on our tongues
pick at our remains
sort out what is edible
broken weathervane answers
spin in gusts
shatter like ice on ice
a mudslide creeps between us
eyes unable to swallow tears
the candle flame shivers
we try to break each other gently
let the taste linger
sunset disavow the dawn
we wade in the inevitable
our voices float like snow
wind waves in the meadow
whispers behind the words
the mist turns to showers
the ground absorbs the rain
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