This is the place where no one lives. The door
is wide open, as everyone is welcome
where no one lives, and no one expects every one,
sooner or later. No one can be late, or early, but you
can’t be, since no one keeps time here. You think about
stripping down to your birthday suit, diving
from the expectant sunlit threshold into
the infinite deep blue sea, setting course
for the unbounded far horizon, but the water
is a bit choppy today, and no one stops you.
Besides, that is the way you came in, no one
accompanying you on the speedboat, berthed
conveniently beneath the house. You liked
the speedboat, the wind in your hair, salt spray
on your face, no one telling you what to do.
Perhaps you will venture into the next room,
the grass-green carpet inviting, a twin prism
of sunlight falling across the frame of a picture
that must mean something to someone, if only
someone were here. Instead, you pull up a chair
from the void at your back, and wait. Sooner or later,
no one joins you. The redundancy of no one
joining no one is not lost upon you. You wonder
where you have been all your life. The lapping
of waves shushes your thoughts, rocks the house
gently. Your eyes close. You welcome yourself home.
is the author of two full-length books:
The Aerialist Will Not Be Performing, ekphrastic poems
and short fictions after the
art of Steven Schroeder (Turning Plow Press, 2020), and a poetry collection,
At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, 2018). His chapbook, Pulp,
is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in July 2022.
Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2019 and multiple times for Best of the Net, his
work has appeared in Chiron Review; Flint Hills Review; Heartland! Poetry of Love,
Resistance & Solidarity; I-70 Review; Illya’s Honey; KYSO Flash;
MacQueen’s Quinterly; MockingHeart Review; October Hill Magazine; Red River
Review; River City Poetry; Sheila-Na-Gig online; Shot Glass; The Ekphrastic
Review; Thorny Locust; and the Wichita Broadside Project.
A native Kansan, Dean studied music composition with Dr. Walter Mays at Wichita State
University before going on the road as a bass player, conductor, and arranger; he was
a professional musician for 30 years, playing with acts such as Jesse Lopez, Bo Didley,
Frank Sinatra Jr., Vic Damone, Jim Stafford, Kenny Rankin, B. W. Stevenson, and the
Dallas Jazz Orchestra. And he put in a stint with the house band at the Fairmont Hotel
Venetian Room in Dallas. While living in Dallas, he also worked 20 years for The
Dallas Morning News and made the transition from music to writing before moving
back to Kansas in 2007.
Dean is a member of the Kansas Authors Club and The Writers Place, and the event
coordinator for Epistrophy: An Afternoon of Poetry and Improvised Music, held annually
in Wichita, Kansas. He lives in Augusta, Kansas, along with a universe of books, CDs,
LPs, an electric bass, and a couple dozen hats. In his spare time, he practices the
time-honored art of hermitry.
Hopper and Dean: Interview and poems in River City Poetry
Metal Man, ekphrastic poem inspired by a 1955 photograph of
Dean’s paternal grandfather in the Boeing machine shop; published in
The Ekphrastic Review (28 July 2018) and nominated for Best of the Net.
Two of Dean’s ekphrastic works in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 5,
October 2020): Impression, CNF after Berthe Morisot’s painting Woman and
Child on a Balcony; and
Eyes on You, a poem after Aurore Uwase Munyabera’s painting
Windmill, ekphrastic poem inspired by Dean’s maternal
grandfather; published in KYSO Flash (Issue 11, Spring 2019) and nominated
for the Pushcart Prize. This poem is among half-a-dozen of Dean’s ekphrastic
works published in KYSO Flash (Issues 11 and 12).
Llama, 1957, ekphrastic haibun inspired by Inge Morath’s
photograph A Llama in Times Square; published in The Ekphrastic
Review (13 January 2018).