The National Poetry Review

Alec Hershman


The flame in the basket, among other things,
keeps a child’s balloon from wandering
into the hole in the higher, hot-air version.
Here on Earth, I had to step aside, and let
the tractor do its fuming. During my brief
stint in farm-life, whenever I wanted
to know something, apples leaned down
from allusory boughs, whose trees
bore the mortgages of so many green
upbringings. Pellucid pollution swam
before and beyond the glowing fruit.
I know a man who touched a sonnet,
and died. I know a man who a woman
supposed with her own two hams
of knowledge to be small as the crickety
corpse in the casket of a cello, when in fact,
he was at least average, and of a modest,
surmisably less chipper height.

Stare long enough, and you’ll see…
according to the advice of a guest
with a mind like an aspic finishing
in a dish beside a lazy-eyed meatloaf,
neither of which could rise—
or get over itself.

ALEC HERSHMAN is the author of The Egg Goes Under (Seven Kitchens Press, 2017). He has received awards from the KHN Center for the Arts, The Jentel Foundation, Playa, The Virginia Creative Center for the Arts, and The Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and Natural Design. He lives in Michigan where he teaches writing and literature to college students. You can learn more at

Back to Issue