William Stobb
author, editor, teacher


I’m very proud to be part of the creative team at Conduit magazine and its book publishing arm, Conduit Books & Ephemera. Find us at www.conduit.org.

Here’s a long list of links to my own works published in various zines and journals, available in some form online:

"Poem Asleep," on Verse Daily
            The leaves you are seeing
            in the place where you live
            may be beautiful, but if anything
            the engine in the tissue matters.

Short story, “All the Bodies” in North Dakota Quarterly

“He must’ve been so afraid,” the neighbor said, but I guess anger must’ve been stronger when the old man brought the shotgun in.

"The Pinky of Great Sugi"  in American Poetry Review

the strange entangled trees clinging to granite

and the stump of the dead Prometheus—

once the oldest living organism, cut for research.

"Motel South Dakota" in Twyckenham Notes.
           The beaver is the most internet searched animal. It poses,
                       fat tail in its delicate hands,
            on the fold-out luggage stand and speaks Beaver, close-
                       captioned direct to your vision.
            "Here's to everyone past and missing, that life a journey of
                        marrying this."

"Speed Wobbles" in Enizagam.
            Local nuns pray constantly in order
            to keep a line open to the big whatever-it-is.
            Meanwhile John goes silent
            for ten rotations each orbit, and that
            would make sense if sense wasn't a word.

"Entropic" and "A Brief Interruption" in Diode. 
families & dream jobs & favorite
             ballplayers & problem behaviors you’re trying to
             reign in because you want to get it
             right in this life & you’re grateful
             for these friendships: real
             good things you can feel

"A Moment for Authentic Shine"  Spoon River Poetry Review, Editors' Prize.

To say heart in that trite way,

and girl when by now she’s fifty,

and real when the elapsing of all things into void

has been made abundantly clear.


"Capitol Street Pulse" and "Album" in American Poetry Review 

            Maybe it’s easier to believe in the glute as it rounds up from the back of the thigh

            than the Jeffersonian column in the floodlight at dusk.

"Toward the Oblivious Factories," in 
Passages North
             Let the world pass us by, Amen.

"Cousin," in The Golden Shovel Anthology
         she flutters, threaded, rises
                    reaches back a hand up into
           new blue nowhere, the
                    next next slash of sunshine
           through a thousand acres of flax: there,
                     I say. For us.    

"What Is Happening," and "Earl of Rochester," plus an interview, in Kenyon Review

What is happening

seems mainly about to happen—

a fade into a possible other

sandbox strewn with trucks and full

of buried Superballs (R. TM.).


"Sorry, I Can't Design Your Futuristic Bug Creature"  Science Fiction Poetry Association, First Prize

When the millipede kingdom emerges

based on the wisdom of telepathically cooperative industry

and the bitchin’ karate possible

for creatures with a thousand legs,

the numbers shoot through the freaking roof.


"Freedom" and "Sam Says Everything"  in American Poetry Review

She told me life began on a distant moon

which made life seem kind of middling, to me—

side-shelved and orbiting around

whatever the real real thing might be.


"Interval" in Colorado Review

On today’s date, a comedian

and a salesperson of air time

are divorcing down my block. 

Their teenage daughter fronts a punk band

so collapse immediately becomes chorus.


"Wunderkammer" Ink Node Editors’ Choice

Rocks came alive when McGaferty applied

                      a tiny magnet to the blood.

He holds a rigor mortised gerbil in the photo

while his wife stands balanced on a gnome.


"A Sense of Proportion"  in Academy of American Poets Poem-a-day

cast from stars, hidden in a federation

of equivalent times, distant trains

carrying sugar, coal, whole families beyond

deserts, imposing ranges, shimmering coastlines

said to define the spirit of my people.


"Strangely Pregnant" and "Origins," plus an interview in Driftwood 3.3.

In case a later researcher can hear

our ancient air I’m saying Judy, Judy

in sexually religious tones. Soon

everything will be narrated by James Earl Jones.


"Doom" in North American Review, plus my recipe for Doom Cakes on the NAR blog

The mind is always running on multiple tracks, I think, but then I recognize that that very thought is swiped from audio production software.  Thinking doesn’t work that way, probably.


Passages North

It could be like a dream, at times—a distant possibility.  Other times you could notice a distinct lack of it, like being out of syrup or not feeling loved.


"The Dream of Perfect Pants" and "Phil Bradley in Heaven" The Oneiric Moor

My pants became angry and vaporized

the sales force, and strangely, the image of

that moment became the catalogue ad

for Power Pants, which was branding I had

not approved. 


"Time," "Identity," and "The Future" in Hobart

Like a Matryoshka doll, you might go in and in until you’re living in a nice development on the outskirts of a rhizome, working nine to five at a lepton factory deep in the heart of Will Bulka’s kneecap, and that might be it: your core identity.


"Failing Science," and "Seeking Latino Star Wars Enthusiast: Must Love Dogs"  in New Orleans Review
            Have any of these Kenobi conundrums 

ever led you to question

whether a Latino man named Juan somewhere

might carry the nickname Obi Juan?


Short Story "Private Noises" in Revolver

Really, it wouldn’t be any more fake than most of the stuff people say to indicate that they’re pleased with life. Instead of saying “thanks,” you’d just whimper in a rising, pleading kind of way. Instead of pumping your fist and going “yes!” you’d throw your head back and moan ejaculatorily.


Essay "Somewhere Near Paynesville, Maybe," in TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics

I began to understand that any moment of any life could be profound, that meaning can't always be packaged, summarized, articulated. Life elapses through us, as energy elapses through all structures that assume and relinquish form within the brief flash of light and heat we call the universe. I would later know a religious scholar who would say, "there is an ecstasy in life unfolding over billions of years."


Creative Non-fiction "The Pajama Queen and the In-law-terloper" in The New Orleans Review


Essay "Stations" in Airplane Reading

I thought: when flying, one should be prepared to die.  The obvious correlatives registered fully in my rational mind:  when crossing the street one should be prepared to….  When slicing a day-old bagel….  When walking through cheat grass among boulders in the warmth of a late Nevada morning one should be prepared to die.


"Organism" and "Holiday" in The Offending Adam

Once I tried throwing

a ball up out of a feeling

I now call wireless network

to the stars ha ha Hollywood

your sign crumbles while humbler items

go on absorbing, emitting.

"At the same time huge new planes were being built. in DIAGRAM  

                                                                                           I didn’t 

know much about the East and didn’t like what I saw.  It looked like it was




Short Story, "The Calls" in MiPOesias

I was carting everything I owned across an ancient lake bottom, while, at the opposite end of the world, some young men were trapped in a metal tube, in the dark, under 400 feet of water, fighting panic, oxygen waning, their messages passing through the water for miles. 



"Evidence Twenty" and "Little Disintegration" in American Poetry Review

To canyon crevasse and sun

wheel spun under a million

visible stars unsuspecting

voyagers are called

to disintegrate and report back.


"I Try to Think"  in Oranges and Sardines

                                         For a while

deserts only seemed good for war.  Then I lived

in one and found it good for Frisbee.

For a while it seemed

I’d never share a sensible word with my father.

Then he said he might’ve murdered the whole committee

if they’d sent him back to China.

"Absentia" and "Natural History" in The Offending Adam  

Spiral and net

carved in tufa along lakeshore benchmarks caterpillared by sage.  Photos

of Clark Gable’s trophy trout in the Paiute interpretive center.  “He could

sure play a broken-down wrangler.”

"The Light Year" and "Blue in Nature (With Some Overflow)"  in Oranges & Sardines

After I wrote “At the Afterlife Hotel” I started really hating metaphors about what the dead are doing.  I wanted to think of the dead very physically, strung through the ground and plants and air and blood.


"Dissayda Worl" in American Poetry Review

But the love I guess

is pretty intense

and I guess there’s love

for every organ


"In a Mountain Pasture," "Some Purple," "Release," and "In/And" in Jacket Magazine

muscular wing thrum a lilac
room conceals         shiver blown
ear to throat        emote
when relevant         attend to terror
in Wisconsin loud pops are often
fire crackers


"Translations: Jen Currin and William Stobb" in Konundrum Engline Literary Review

For souvenirs I bought (“explosions

on every level to scale beyond thinking”)

propaganda posters.  I’m anti-

place I say in a paper (“Where anyone

can sit quietly and ring a chime”).  No

to faces.  No to cases.  Rapidly blinking

the world erases.


"Qualities or Characteristics Of" in PIF Magazine

We stopped for lunch and I saw him light up

and turn the wrong way coming out of the station.

I continued south out of Cheyenne through a hailstorm

and then east of Denver into the long night,

every voice on AM saying distance, distance.

But this is supposed to be about living with it.