The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: mud blooms by Ruth Dickey


This selection, chosen by guest curator Heather Leigh, is from mud blooms by Ruth Dickey, released by Harbor Mountain Press in 2019. 

He Smoke to Make the Night go Long

he sits on wooden bench, not concrete
which holds the cold, gives arthritis

strikes each match against sidewalk
cups hands against wind distractions

waits for the truck that comes at six
mealy apple and soup congealing

wears seven watches to keep the hours
double socks and double pants

reads dictionaries to keep the words
smokes to make the night uncurl


Ruth Dickey’s first book, Mud Blooms, was selected for the MURA Award from Harbor Mountain Press and awarded a 2019 Silver Nautilus. The recipient of a Mayor’s Arts Award from Washington DC, and a grant from the DC Commission and Arts and Humanities, Ruth is an ardent fan of dogs and coffee, and is in the midst of moving from Seattle to Brooklyn. Her poems and essays have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Kestrel, Ocean StateReview, Painted Bride Quarterly, Rhino, SWIMM, Vice Versa, andZocalo Public Square.

Heather Leigh is a queer, disabled writer and editor who has been working within Chicago’s publishing world for more than twenty years, editing poetry for the likes of Curbside Splendor and reading prose and poetry for Uncanny Magazine. She has recently began to focus on her own publication goals between semesters teaching English, writing, reading, and journalism at various midwestern community colleges. She is a three-time SAFTA fellowship recipient, a multiple resident of Firefly Farms, and most recently had a speculative horror story published in Bloodlet, an anthology by CultureCult Press. She lives in Chicago with a retired cage-fighting poet, two rescue cats names after Buffy watchers, enjoying life with the family that caught her by surprise.

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