Mike Puican

Praying Through the Ruins

Balloons over Tel Aviv by Raphael Perez

through the boredom,
the dying house pet,
the flatness of this page
and its ambition,
the flatness of the city,
the cat puke, the plains
under the city, the landfill
and its blue flame, the
nervous prairie,
the wedding vows,
the seating chart, a dance
with the bride, the
inconvenient sexual
orientation, the
beer in someone’s
bedroom, the divorce
from hell, the noun
followed by the stupid
verb and its expected
adverb, the obedient
subordinate clause and
the irrefutable, ruinous


About the writer:
Mike Puican’s work has appeared in journals such as Poetry, Michigan Quarterly Review, and New England Review. His debut book of poetry, Central Air, was released by Northwestern University Press in August 2020. He was a member of the 1996 Chicago Poetry Slam Team and has been a long-time board member of the Guild Literary Complex. He teaches poetry to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals at the Federal Metropolitan Correctional Center and St. Leonard’s House, both in Chicago.

Image: Balloons over Tel Aviv by Raphael Perez (1965-). Acrylic on canvas. 250 x 150 cm. By 2016. By free license.