Daniel Simon







A Poem a Day


To start with a blank slate

As if a single line could carry

The weight, a cosmos of words

An incipit, a fiat,

An ex nihilo that

Breaks from the repetition

Of always and forever

And promises a world





Jupiter’s Ear


Midway along life’s path,

if ascent is still an option,


is it possible to spring forth

as a poet, fully formed,


before Minerva’s owl

takes flight at sundown?


No dark wood surrounding

or night of the soul looming


just the concatenation

of storylines, irresolution


and serendipity accreting

into the lineation of days.


Not chaos theory

but a sort of indeterminacy


radical in implication –

neither fate nor absurdity


just reason enough to go on

despite all evidence to the contrary.




After Reading Everything


October was the fallow month

even as harvest’s plenty filled bins and bushels.

While reading long-rowed words like drilled furrows

my own page blank with infecund white.


One lifetime’s worth of reading could fill

the brain’s stockpile, overflowing it with

abundance, yet the vessel filled is nature morte,

still life in suspension, waiting for metamorphosis.


When life writes itself into consciousness

the expectant self, rapt in absorption,

seeks a new birth in expulsion

leaving lines behind –


cultivars and cuttings

tilled into existence.












Daniel Simon, ​is assistant director and editor in chief of World Literature Today magazine at the University of Oklahoma, where he also teaches for the Department of English. He is a member of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, the National Book Critics Circle, and PEN American Center. A Nebraska native, he lives in Norman, Oklahoma, with his wife and three daughters.

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