Author Feature - November 2020

Past Poet Laureate of Kansas (2017-2019) Kevin Rabas teaches at Emporia State University, where he leads the poetry and playwriting tracks and chairs the Department of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism. He has twelve books, including Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner. He is the recipient of the Emporia State President’s and Liberal Arts & Sciences Awards for Research and Creativity, and he is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award for Poetry. 



[grocery shopping at Walmart in the pandemic]

for Kelly

For me, God put everything back into perfect order. Before I'd be a few blocks down the road from Walmart in the car, moving away, going home, and I'd realize I'd forgotten three things, and I'd turn back and return to the store, go in, and get them. But now I just keep going. Nothing’s worth it. Don’t look back. The bug is in the air in there.


for Lisa

I wanted your heart more than your body,

as unusual as that sounds. Your body

also beautiful, an instrument that waits

to be played by slow or quick hands, a body

fit for only a master musician’s touch,

a lover with precision and improvisation at hand, a body

made for music of the highest level, virtuoso

echelon, instrument of legacy, old master quality,

a Stradivarius violin, your body, my touch.

The cat brought in
  a ground mouse, left it
on the rug that holds
  his food, his water dish,
must've thought

what we needed
  was more meat.