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  Michael Autrey
Michael Autrey
Born in Massachusetts, and raised in Portland, Oregon, Michael Autrey has studied in France and Greece, lived and worked in the Czech Republic, India and Paraguay. He is graduate of the University of Chicago. In 2010 he moved back to the Second City, where he reviews books and teaches. Our Fear is his first book.

In the Spirit of The Spirit of the Beehive



Michael Autrey
One sister asks the other
About fucking close to water,
Fucking on a mountaintop.

Do it in bed. Don't fuck with
Exotic locales. He'll forget to pull out—


The monster drowns the girl.
Her father, daughter's body in his arms,

Staggers through the town, mourners
Standing on their shadows' necks

As St. George is often shown,
Standing on the dragon's neck,
Waiting for the applause to die down.


In the Strawberries



For J.T., on his 50th birthday

Men in the back of a pickup:
fatigues, camo make-up,
armed to the teeth.
Their irises
looked like part of their disguise
but I remember the whites of their eyes.


Artists' Retreat



All day in the shed,
making noise of metal,
calls it Cosmic Seed;
its comic, laughable.

He gave his best years
to sparks: arc welder
blinding; grinder
whinging, whining.

Weaned off daylight,
I wait for him to mute
the TV. It keeps, he says,
the ghosts at bay.

Ghosts would be welcome.
Scared out of my wits
I'd know I had some
of my own about me.

But Attenborough
confides: Seventy
types of gall afflict
every single old oak.


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