Day 32 of 365 – Ryan Vine


Rule 23


Friend, I hear there’s a hole
on the tops of our heads

that only one person who
finally comes along can see

and drops a kiss like a lamp
down into it so that we glow

like dummies as they look
into our faces like they’re

looking out a window at
Lake Superior or the sea

and find by that light
like you would by moonlight

the tiny islands we live on
just offshore and us waving.

Copyright © Ryan Vine 2018



This poem, “Rule 23”, is from Ryan Vine‘s debut full collection To Keep Him Hidden, published by Salmon in 2018), winner of the 2018 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award, was a finalist for the May Swenson Prize, the New Issues Prize, the Crab Orchard Series, the MVP Prize from New Rivers Press, and—selected by Robert Pinsky—the Dorset Prize.

Ryan’s poems have appeared in a number of magazines, including The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and on National Public Radio. His chapbook, Distant Engines (Backwaters Press, 2006), won a Weldon Kees Award and spent time on the Poetry Foundation’s contemporary best-seller list.

He has received the Greensboro Review’s Robert Watson Poetry Prize, McKnight/ARAC Career Development Grants, an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and has been a finalist or nominee for numerous other honors, including the Pushcart Prize.

Ryan is associate professor of English and member of the Honors faculty at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN.

Visit the Salmon Poetry Online Bookshop to read more about this collection, including more sample poems