Merridawn Duckler

No Single Answer, Agony Column, Cosmopolitan Magazine, May 1988

Q; My boyfriend wants to see other girls (sic)
Meantime other other girls hide in their
bushes. Now I go out kind
except my crouch, hair, nails, clothes, erasure
clutter, these rainbows, these inserts, my whiteness,
Nothing works, right?
For contrast, my heart is 21, his penis is 27


Q: Having an affair with strict missionary
I’m the top. But I’m all like
Think, moron! What is under them?
Is it an adventure, an affair
am I (an) adventurous?
I’m writhed in un-confidences, sitting
tuck toe between numbered ads. I am fat.
K. If you cud. Map it out for me.
Should I be prehensile by now. Be real.


Q: I went to college. Girls went to college.
Coffee shops went to college. Class warfare
went to college. At home, high school weeps.
Sigh school burnt the experiment. I am above
dorms. College is so full of empty forms!
Feeling a cliché tighten. My flawless necks
collar me. Here’s my numb.


Q: I I I I have a career. Money continues page 79
No one cares I am not giving up.
F-bombs are scattered over the laws
under the big building. I love them, in a sense.
Where is this green in my stained hands?
The hard work of being a child
turns out has no compensation. Help me, Irma. Get him out of my house.


Q: Married. Coffee. The light comes and goes.
He screams of tragedy and follows me into lunch.
I’m pretty sick of it but think on the solo. A long convoy
of hounds follow, panting, slobber.
At my works I look out the window. He is in bushes.
I pity his disguises. I write to you for the nail color
to nail him. Don’t tell me how cops feel. You are laughably my hope, joy.

Answer: She is all these people.

No one to stop me from taking from the waiting room, Via Magazine, Spring, 2019

Waiting for medication, I dream of Fresno.
Kristi Yamaguchi, writing on a silver wall had tried twirling, moving a ball from side to side.
Now she is start-fish and lavender, a queen and an author.
In the best parks, at Point Lobos, a little cabin where fishermen trembled.
In the Valley of Fire, a garden of rocks.
At Slide Rock, the junipers are suffused, as we hunt for that verb the good part of an afternoon.
In the Lewis and Clark Caverns, caves never entirely empty.
At Antelope Island, the pronghorn.
In the best of state, mine was Silver Falls, where once I stood under the roar and understood this land was lodged in me like a bullet.
Left out was the little park in Fresno, where I dedicated myself to only one god.

This is what we should do.
I guess, we eat first, in Trinidad, by someone with the name Bridget Hand.
I yearned to write names for these bougis! Pages and pages of turnstiles and castles.
Where have I wasted my life next?

Gerhardt Richter’s Five Grey Mirrors

Away they are matte.
Close by they are a gloss.
This one is a piece of sky.
This one is a landing strip.

All are the windows of a train.

The gas is so undetectable,
as we sit in the designated chairs,

still, they will not allow us
to return home.

Merridawn Duckler is a writer from Oregon, author of INTERSTATE (dancing girl press) and IDIOM (Washburn Prize, Harbor Review.) New work in Women’s Review of Books, Seneca Review, Interim, Penn Review. Fellowships/awards include Yaddo, Southampton Poetry Conference, Poets on the Coast. She’s an editor at Narrative and at the philosophy journal Evental Aesthetics.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.