William Stobb

The Glacier
Issue One
Fall 2022



D. after bookstore espressos:
look I’m in the sunset think 
of the bubbles we live in automotive 
refrigeration existence 
of bananas concept 
of individuality plus one 
bubble of actual air.

Remember Earl lost half his 
body weight that year? 
Something just hit me. Some water.


At 3:03 a thin man stands
potted cactus in hand 
in the sunlit storefront window.

CIA documents show a powerful
glitch in sixty-five maybe a surge 
at the collider. A fragile reality
promulgates itself he says it wrong like fruit 
laughing so over-caffeinated.


Art books aren’t capturing 
stalled behind the image pile-up
people unfold chairs remember tiny
vodka bottles in their handbags
and decide to live differently.

I invent the breed Futility Shepherd.

“Live Mules” reads the sign
next to the trampoline
where children broke phalanges, carpals and
metacarpals, clavicles, ulnas, radii
and one femur 
near the point on Prout’s Neck
where Homer painted Breezing Up but
standing there is better
sorry Winslow.


I was saying spiky round cactus
and he was standing in the light 
at 3:03 and at 3:06 
he’s still there but the cactus is gone
vanished in a flash 
that must’ve occurred at 3:05 or 4.

Circled children in the millionaire’s scrapbook 
code for money but when I went for the money
I found bears with human feet.


Little pool of pomegranate juice 
not symbolic of blood only
beautiful juice on a white table not meaningful.

D. kept talking while I read the blurb 
on this Murakami like criminal 
dolphin holiday on ice bell.
Johnny off the wagon again.
Salivary hesitation and sudden wet breathing.
The brain changed everything. 
Experiences continued to occur.

on pearl two

on pearl two 
people i respect said he was the most compelling
male they’d ever personally met

one other person  
said dalai lama and one said rupert grint—who?

it’s just sad chemicals now
unraveling according to wave functions
inside his bushy face

cars pass people walk by in cheeseheads
man hollers punishing scriptures 
stars still out there past the blue you
just can’t see them now 

i’ve seen a map 
of blue to black brain death occurring
the subject still standing there you can hug him

and he will smile
and say how much he loves this beach


                                       “Mathematicians who have visited Gregory Chudnovsky’s
                                        bedroom have come away dizzy, wondering what secrets 
                                        the scriptorium may hold.”
                                                    —Richard Preston, writing for The New Yorker

G. goes away to justice type

collective blood pressure
existential fantasy stats


Euler leads with two of five 
most beautiful maths

infinitude of prime
and gamma transcendental

numbers come alive etc
but the monstrous cacophony 

of Chudnovsky’s elemental— 


—okay maybe a never-ending dream 
snakes decimals through the void

people wander singing 
Archimedes sprung it 

loose from a circle 
or it spiraled right from the bang

fever blind Euler died
trying to illuminate 

warped helix 
fractal spatter yellow 
live bleed-out cuidado
non-repeating irrational do you

know why I’ve stopped you 
bullet barrage baby halo

makes sense makes a pattern it has to


all we had for Dow Jones
were golden quills 

and have you seen the emotion
economy cross

n digits via python / Ramanujan
god’s old face in 

illuminated Ostrogothic Jesus gestures 
down the last supper page

one is you 

will go on and on
in this precise way


home in a few days 
with new facial expressions 

G. transcended
calculations for a brighter tomorrow

to just hang out with someone
he wanted to look like


we hardly ever tongue kiss anymore

real life needs subtraction 

Impurity Ring

While I watched that show about Nazi hunters
with the actor who used to say hoo-ahh 
one real Nazi moved in
to the blue bungalow across from the Catholic 
school behind the CBD shop and Indian buffet.
He’s got the 1488 license plate
(pause here and look it up)
along with two bumper stickers:
one “Aryan” and the other “Asatru Foundation”
which is the new Nordic paganism
the white nationalists are into now.
I’ve seen him once—big jacked-looking dude 
out on a frigid morning scraping 
ice off his enormous Chevy in full 
camo that looked pretty official.
Maybe he was off to Hitler camp
where they fire nines at cut-out
afro targets, get all sweaty pumping iron
and deny every shred of attraction to each other.

My dad grew up on dreams
of bombing Nazis back to hell.
By the time he signed the dotted line
wars were different and he ended up flying 
circles around Sacramento waiting 
for combat orders that never came. 
He told me he regretted ever leaving the farm.
He didn’t tell me he sought pure 
feelings in the arms
of waitresses across Minnesota, 
the Dakotas, Iowa and western Wisconsin
but when he died my sister found 
surprisingly moving letters 
and even more surprisingly explicit Polaroids 
hidden among the minutes 
he took as secretary for the ethanol plant:
gray sheet-metal relic of an ag 
industries era that seems to have engineered 
as many problems as it solved.

Here in my little history I 
sigh and grasp at conclusions: 
1. I think Dad could only accept love in secret
because of deep human shame
but I’m glad that he found some, somewhere. 
B. That TV show would have us believe 
hunting Nazis is more difficult than it actually seems
but assassinating them might be easier
than stopping by in a neighborly fashion with a six-pack
and how ‘bout them Cowboys?
Finally, maybe all expended energy 
accelerates the extinction spiral 
but that old ethanol plant could be perfect 
for production of a substance
everyone’s using now: hand sanitizer.

WILLIAM STOBB‘s most recent poetry collection is You Are Still Alive (2019), winner of the 42 Miles Press prize. He is also the author of the National Poetry Series selection, Nervous Systems, and Absentia, both from Penguin Books, and three chapbooks including a Artifact Eleven, a collection of desert fragments. Stobb’s poems appear in American Poetry ReviewColorado ReviewDenver Quarterly, DIAGRAMKenyon Review, and many other journals and ‘zines. He works on the editorial staff of Conduit and its book publishing arm, Conduit Books & Ephemera, as well as on the creative writing faculty at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Artwork by David Dodd Lee
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