Soul by Doug Anderson

The soul is not a self.
We have too many

of those I’m
thinking it’s more like

a membrane
that surrounds a life,

holds all
and composts it into

some sweet sorghum.
It has no limits.

You can stuff it full
of everything.

Nor is it pure light:
it’s stained

with being human;
you get no points

with God
for being colorless.

In fact
he’d rather see

those sun bled colors,
those swallowed knives.


Doug Anderson‘s book of poems, The Moon Reflected Fire, won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His book Blues for Unemployed Secret Police won a grant from the Eric Matthieu King Fund of the Academy of American Poets. He has also written plays and film scripts, and his memoir, Keep Your Head Down, was published by W.W. Norton in 2009. He teaches in the Institute of Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College.