What Wisconsin Took

Paul Dickey

Paul Dickey holds a Master of Arts degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, in the History and Philosophy of Science. In the mid- 1970s, he published in quality literary journals, including Nimrod, Karamu, Quartet, and Kansas Quarterly. Since 1980, he has owned and operated an out-of-print book business and pioneered the use of the personal computer and the World Wide Web in the antiquarian book trade. He moved his family from Wichita, KS to Omaha in 1986. A professional career in information technology has included periods at Metropolitan Life, Mutual of Omaha, and Ameritrade, Inc. After taking a long hiatus from writing, Dickey started to publish again in 2003. He has published in nearly fifty print and online journals. Recent work is in Rattle, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, Cue: A Journal of Prose Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, Swink Online, and Cider Press Review. He is married and has two adult daughters and one adult son.

Dickey writes with one eye focused on the history of philosophy and science and the other on a deeply personal but sharable human experience (although appropriately fictionalized-don’t expect accurate biography in the poems). He expects of himself that his work be accessible and frequently comical, but at the same time to demonstrate the intellectual honesty and seriousness that his subjects deserve. Although he prefers mostly free verse and prose poetry, he also has written formal verse, translations, and “flash fiction.”

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Near the Fox River Wildlife Refuge

Just this week, the weather has turned.
At the refuge, the few remaining
snow geese scatter at a handclap.
You cannot tell them goodbye.

Movement is an awkward flutter
of wings. Wind flaps the doors
of the Dairy Delight, the shelter that once
was an Ace Hardware. Farmers’ sons

drive south to Madison for nails
and girls. Their leaving lets no sound
stay, although some words dawdle,
and always mean to come home soon.