Steve Healey is the author of Earthling and, most recently, 10 Mississippi. He lives in Minneapolis, has taught at both Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, as well as at several Minnesota correctional facilities.
10 Mississippi consists of poems which explore our hide and seek games with our own memories, and the torrential flood of information – both inane and horrifying – that flows over us every day. Here’s a poem from the collection which I think does a good job capturing Healey’s distinct and powerful way with language.
The body recovered from the Mississippi River
this afternoon has been tentatively identified
as that of authorities on Tuesday identified
the body pulled from the Mississippi River
on Sunday evening as police on Saturday
identified a body discovered in the Mississippi River
this week as that of the crew recovered the body
of the man in the Mississippi River Wednesday night
and authorities suspect he may be the same man
bystanders witnessed enter the river Sunday
after several hours of searching the murky waters
of the Mississippi Tuesday night divers recovered
the body of a thirty-nine-year-old woman
local authorities pulled an unidentified body
out of the river’s floodwaters Saturday
a body pulled from the Mississippi River
was identified Monday as that of the body
found last weekend in the Mississippi River
was identified Tuesday as that of a man from
the body of a man believed to be in his twenties
was pulled from the Mississippi River on Thursday
police said authorities are investigating after
a body was found inside a vehicle at the bottom
of the Mississippi the search ended Wednesday
after his body was discovered downstream
identification was released Friday night
of the man whose body was pulled from
Monday morning according to the sheriff
a body was pulled from the river.
– “1 Mississippi” by Steve Healey, as it appears in his collection 10 Mississippi, published by Coffee House Press. Reprinted here with permission from the publisher.