A Prairie Home Champion by Michael Meyerhofer

I wish I’d been there to see Garrison Keillor
drag Medusa’s head out of a bag and show it

to a monster so big, it didn’t need a name.
I wish I’d been there when raw stone swept

over scales like a grade school laminator
turning posters and flash cards into tomes,

into tablets like what Garrison Keillor carried
down from Sinai while thunderheads

cartwheeled behind his desert-green eyes,
his knuckles the color of seashells.

There are not enough good chroniclers left,
not enough vellum and empty skies

to remind us that once, alone, Garrison Keillor
made a sword out of water and drove it

between Grendel’s mother’s less-than-
perfect breasts before cutting off her head

(as heroes are wont to do) and hefting it
all fifteen miles back to Athens.

There, he plopped it down on a barstool
with such force that a wide-waisted genie

hauled ass back into his lamp and even
Zeus listened when Garrison Keillor

looked up, scowling, and told him
to leave the goddamn barmaids alone.


Michael Meyerhofer’s third book, Damnatio Memoriae, won the Brick Road Poetry Book Contest. His previous books are Blue Collar Eulogies (Steel Toe Books) and Leaving Iowa (winner of the Liam Rector First Book Award). He has also won the James Wright Poetry Award, the Laureate Prize, the Annie Finch Prize for Poetry, the Marjorie J. Wilson Best Poem Contest, and five chapbook prizes. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, North American Review, Arts & Letters, River Styx, Quick Fiction and other journals, and can be read online at www.troublewithhammers.com. He is the Poetry Editor of Atticus Review.