F. Daniel Rzicznek

Prompts for the Void

State your opinion on reincarnation.

Determine how much otherworldly perception 
can fit into twenty minutes.

Describe what you feel when the funnel clouds
of lightning dance through you.

Does death interrupt work, or just conclude it?

Describe the doe, back hoof caught
in a cyclone fence, leg twisting—

how it flopped beside her once 
she freed herself.

Describe the parabola of suffering
she traced across the empty airfield.

Describe the relief that gives way to doubt,
doubt without relief.

Map the sunlight bouncing off pebbles,
off the salt-blanched roadside trees.

Draw the memory of a dead friend’s voice
through the blank television screen.

Describe the notebook that describes the five
hundred steps to reversing desolation.

What is one moment from your childhood
you’re happy you’ve forgotten?

In less than a word, describe the rain.

F. Daniel Rzicznek's books of poetry are Settlers (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press) and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press), and he is coeditor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press). His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Bennington Review, Conjunctions (online), Barrow Street, Prelude, and elsewhere. He teaches writing at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.
  • Lost Creation
    César Dávila Andrade, Translated by Jonathan Simkins
  • I Ride a Horse
    Tomaž Šalamun, Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry