Copyright © 2012 Pirene's Fountain.


All Rights Reserved.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review's James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010). She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 10 books including The Lonely Hearts Killers, The Atrocity Book and her newest book, just out from Future Cycle Press—“Dead Horses.”



Wine is now preferred.
The ideal vintage, the antique rack,
The cooled cellar with its
Desired labels. Our daughters
Favored Merlot which is lately displaced
By Cabernet Sauvignon. Pilgrimages
To Napa, to Trader Joe’s.
A Festival of the Vine here in the Midwest
Tasting booth to booth,
The oaky kind, the popular Australian.

When we were kids it was six packs
Of Millers, Schlitz, Bud. The rare Coors
Obtained by travel to Colorado.
Keg parties. Chug-a-lugs.

Our parents affected sophistication.
The cocktail hour. Manhattans,
Rob Roys, Pink Ladys, Brandy Alexanders.
The three-Martini lunches
Where deals were done in clouds
Of Camels, Pall Malls or Lucky Strikes.
The silver shaker, old fashioned glasses
With gold rims like bad bridgework.

Earlier yet: Boilermakers.
Shot and a beer. Homemade Dago Red.
The pint of rotgut in a pocket. Moonshine made
In hill country or gin in bathtubs.
Children toting pails of draft
From O’Malley’s for dad
Bone-tired from the mills.