When the Lake Lost Its Sound


I did my best to get it back.

I cracked fire-sticks

over beaver bones,

fed flies unraveled gut,

aligned rain-stones

to point the way

the snowman travels.


Maybe, I’d have to do

like lake-lovers: divide

a heart for ice and fish.

The current would pump

the aorta, the beach

thump, like how a crane

calls after building a nest,

sees its emptiness.


Alex Vartan Gubbins currently teaches English Composition and Poetry at the Community College of Qatar. He was a 2014 Witter Bynner Translation Grant recipient and a finalist in the Iowa Review's 2014 Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award and the North American Review's 2015 James Hearst Poetry Prize. He has a BA in African Languages and Literature from University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA from Northern Michigan University. From fall of 2016 until summer of 2017, he'll work as Poet-In-Residence for ACOSS cultural NGO in Yerevan, Armenia.