Today's poem is "Past Bedtime"
from Heathen

C&R Press

Lesley Wheeler is the author of Scholarship Girl, Voicing American Poetry and other books. Her poems appear in Poetry, AGNI, and other magazines, and she has held fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She teaches at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

Other poems by Lesley Wheeler in Verse Daily:
August 16, 2009:   "Selfish"  "When you are always right, it is hard to diet..."
June 30, 2009:   "Inland Song" "In some kind houses the doors..."
November 14, 2007:   "Lazy Eye" " The stranger unplugs her bogus teeth..."

Books by Lesley Wheeler:

Other poems on the web by Lesley Wheeler:
"Dressing Down, 1962"
Three poems
"From the Calderstones"
"Learning to be a Submariner"
"Hamlet Undertakes a Course of Zoloft"
Three poems

About Heathen:

"In Lesley Wheeler's exquisite debut collection, Heathen, the otherworldly flit among the actual like imaginary chameleons in real gardens. The dwarves of Eden think it's a stable and refuse to touch the wine: 'Gah,' they cry, 'it's dung' ('Religious Education'). Marianne Moore, hired to teach typing at the Carlisle Indian School, feels 'false as a New World chameleon' and sows 'sedition' in the Business Department until it's closed down ('A Place for the Genuine'). And in the wondrously rhymed quatrains of the title poem, a son fits his ear to his mother's 'so that the god in your head can talk / to the god in mine. I hear a forest / creak like the binding of a book' ('Heathen'). Wheeler strikes an impossible balance between the wildly witty and tenderly elegant detail. Heathen is sheer magic."
—Cynthia Hogue

"Lesley Wheeler is hardly the first poet to wrestle with her god, but the god of Heathen is a bear who 'rears up, slavering [and] unsheathes / his nails.' In this wildly ambitious first collection, we find meat and wit, awe and irreverence.'I swallowed it all,' she writes and, indeed, this volume's scope, its exacting intimacy and far-flung expansiveness, bear witness to this poet's refusal to turn her eye away from anything. We are richer for this keen gaze, for this poet's vision."
—Janet McAdams

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