Artwork © Judson K. Evans


How to spot a person sinking into themselves

I had a dream that I fell into the unreturnable,
mine was an orchestra pit of Hans Zimmer octaves
the sound of my despair was beyond words but not music.

This is what happens when grown up men commit suicide –
mouths become gavels sentencing their remembrance
this intimate act defines them and yet it really doesn’t.

When I was 43 years old, I planned my exit with German precision.
I remembered to leave the windows open so my soul could escape.
I chose the cocktail of pills and font of my farewell letter.

This is what happens when grown up men escape their minds –
a blood family becomes a stain you accept to wear,
your mark on them, their marks upon you.

Sometimes a thought creeps into heads like mine and whispers
“Leave your shadow on the land and come to the atoms.”
Sometimes I close my eyes and I just want to dance with them.


Will Reger has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He has published two books of poetry, Petroglyphs (2019) and Kaleidoscope (2020). He has served as the inaugural poet laureate for the city of Urbana, Illinois 2019-2020. For the last decade he has been active in promoting poetry in his community. When he is not focused on poems, he watches water flow, listens carefully to what crows are saying, and plays world flutes, especially the nan xiao from southern China (similar to the shakuhachi from Japan).

Judson Evans is a full-time Instructor in the Liberal Arts department at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee where he has taught a range of courses, from a Poetry Workshop on haiku, prose poetry and haibun, to a course on theories of cave art and the role of the cave in ritual and philosophy. In 2007 he was chosen by John Yau as an Emerging Poet for The Academy of American Poets. He was one of the founding members of Off the Park Press, and published work in each of its three anthologies responding to provocative contemporary painters. His most recent work has been published in (print journals) Laurel Review, Folio, Volt; 1913: a journal of forms; and Green Mountains Review, and (online journals) White Whale Review and Amethyst Arsenic. He won The Phillip Booth Poetry Award from Salt Hill Review in 2013. He has collaborated with composers, such Mohammed Fairouz, Mart Epstein, and Rudolf Rojhan, who set several of his poems to music, as well as with choreographers, dancers, musicians and other poets, including Gale Batchelder, and videographers Nate Tucker and Ray Klimek. His poetry collection with Gale Batchelder and Susan Berger-Jones, Chalk Song, was released in 2021.