Steven Klepetar

Nowhere To Go

think of the painting by Van Gogh, the man in the chair.
Everything wrong, and nowhere to go. His hands over
his eyes.
– Mary Oliver

And now another playground spilled over
with blood, another congressman
with a large voice. More prayers, more
counselors dispatched, another orgy of tears.
Coming just after so many dead, it barely
makes the scroll on cable news.
It’s coming to an end, this miserable show.
But now comes word of a friend dead,
car flipped over on the highway in the early
hours, his solid form vacant now as fog
drifting over fields. Maybe the sky will
open at last, pouring dust down on our heads.
Gardens will fill with gray filth, the river
choked in its southward flow.
Maybe birds will find a tunnel in broken air
and hurtle through, leaving nothing but silence behind.


Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where he taught literature and creative writing at Saint Cloud State University. Klepetar’s work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Deep Water, Expound, The Muse: India, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including three in 2015). He has also done several collaborations with composer Richard Lavenda of Rice University in Houston, including a one-act opera, Barricades, for which he wrote the libretto. Klepetar is the author of ten poetry collections and chapbooks, the most recent of which include The Li Bo Poems (Flutter Press, 2016) and Family Reunion (forthcoming from Big Table Publishing).