Robin Turner

Issue 17


Nobody Signaled

I had studied the route beforehand.
Memorized all my exits. There were

too many wrong roads to take.
It happened so quickly. We’d have

these long conversations every night.
Honey dripping onto a bed of poison.

I switched over to leftist websites.
The next day she’d bring me to church.

Nobody signaled that this was abnormal.
Everything seemed like a dream.

I couldn’t find my voice. The cauldron fell.
She’s the only woman tattooed on my body.


the past

is legendary

a landing strip for fly-in guests

a special place

all you do      is comfort

and part


He racked up realms—

kind terrain

slaughter waters

miles of       camaraderie

the Big finish       years


so much


“Nobody Signaled”: Remix/collage. Source text: HONY (Humans of New York) Facebook posts. From a series-in-progress tentatively titled Juxtapose. I’ve long loved Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York project for its remarkable street portraits and compelling narratives, its all-too-human stories, which seem to accumulate in my poet psyche. I jot down interesting fragments and sentences as spirit moves me, and then notice how they begin speaking to each other in fairy-tale tones over time. “I love fairy tales,” one of Brandon’s subjects tells us, “because they juxtapose romance and beauty with people getting their feet cut off.” No feet are severed in this poem. But there is a cauldron. And it falls.

“the past”: Erasure. Source text: 60th Anniversary ad for Gaston’s White River Resort from the 2018 Water & Woods (Arkansas Outdoor Guide).

“He racked up realms—”Erasure. Source text: “Must Love Mountain Biking” from the 2018 Water & Woods (Arkansas Outdoor Guide). These two erasure were crafted on a bitter winter day in the Arkansas Ouachitas when rain kept me inside and off the hiking trails, away from the water and woods I’d intended to explore when I woke that morning.

Robin Turner is the author of bindweed & crow poison (Porkbelly Press). Her work has most recently appeared in Juniper, Foliate Oak, Whale Road Review, and SWWIM. She is a teaching artist in Dallas, Texas.

Photo by Tommaso Pecchioli