I’m In a Place Where Reason Went Missing / Holly Day


poems by

Holly Day

ISBN: 978-1-59948-686-4,  ~ 96 pages, $14

Release Date:  October 2, 2018


Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Big Muddy, The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, Ugly Girl, and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy. She has been a featured presenter at Write On, Door County (WI), North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference (CA), and the Spirit Lake Poetry Series (MN).

One thing about Holly’s writing, whether poetry or prose, is how intensely real it is, even when—or perhaps especially when—what’s actually happening is that it’s veering way off course into the surreal. Or maybe just the unreal. It’s not real life she’s writing about. Wait, though. This is real life she’s writing about, isn’t it? But, of course, that’s not my life, it’s hers. Right? Not my life. Is it?  —Jonathan Segel

Holly Day’s new book: I’m In a Place Where Reason Went Missing is boundless. I highly recommend it. She explores nature, red wagons, animal love, family, China, the Arabian desert, quiet birds, burning books, condoms, Bibles, poet hats, coffins, cowboys, virgins, ghost snakes, dog tags, and cannibals. There is even some sex, but never enough. These subjects are just a toe dip into the river of Holly Day. Catfish McDaris


The earth opened up and she fell in
dragging garden tools and spray bottles and a small red wagon
along with her. She stopped falling long enough to scream
and the world slammed her silent
crushed her into a seam of red that would eventually
harden to diamonds for future prospectors to find.

But in between now and those possibly alien prospectors
the line of white bone and wet meat will cause
the ground around her to very slowly buckle and spread
into a calcified hollow that would have been big enough
for her to curl up in, comfortably

perhaps crouched in her wagon, surrounded by gardening implements
almost as if trying to make up for the violence
of a century before, on a sunny afternoon
with no chance of earthquakes.




I close the lid of the make-up case
put it away. There are too many dreams
imaginary lessons of how to use lipstick and blush
to ever want to do my own face again.
the blues and pinks in the case are only
for little girls
that will never be.

I thumb through the photographs, wonder
if these days are worth remembering
if it’s better to pretend I never
posed by a crib in a maternity dress
holding a pink teddy bear destined only
for rummage sales and a stranger’s child.



When “Goodbye” Isn’t Enough

My son tells me
the world has gotten so small
that even if he gets swallowed up
by the trees in the Amazon
by the heights of Nepal or Kilimanjaro
by the noise of icebergs crashing somewhere past Alaska
he will be able to call me on his cell phone
I can see his face on my computer
I can talk to him any time I want.

I want to tell him
that even the smallest places
can feel gigantic and empty when you’re all alone
that even as close as a telephone call might make us feel
we’ll still have to hang up sometime, and that every minute
I don’t hear his stereo playing in the basement
that I don’t trip over his backpack in the hallway
that I don’t hear him rummaging around in the kitchen
I’ll wonder how he’s doing, if he’s okay

if he remembers
how much he is loved.




the battle lines have been drawn
and my aunt is winning. The other sisters
and in-laws have been feuding for the title of matriarch
in anticipation of my grandmother’s
impending demise, tending to her still-breathing corpse
like well-intentioned vultures, cultivating grace
with an open hand to the crown.

back on the home front, my mother
frets that I don’t take on as much visible
responsibility as my sisters-in-law do
that I’ve slunk into the background
way too much. my husband
wonders why we always get family news
last, blames his busy work schedule
our overwhelming kids.

I tell him
we’re holding down our own fort
that if something important happens
people know we’re here to help. I plan
moves to foreign countries, send résumés
to far-away companies, long for the day
when there’s distance between my family
and the melodrama of the front lines.

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