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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Micro-Poem: 38 words
By Robert L. Dean, Jr.


time spreads fingers 
we sift through 
red yellow blue 
commingle on this earth 
holy in our moment 
healer and patient 
we share 
sacred space 
journey inward 
embrace the embryo 
fingers curl 
winds rise 
scatter us 
beyond memory  

Robert L. Dean, Jr.
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is the author of Pulp (Finishing Line Press, 2022); The Aerialist Will Not Be Performing, ekphrastic poems and short fictions in response to the art of Steven Schroeder (Turning Plow Press, 2020); and At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, 2018).

His work has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and has appeared or is forthcoming in: Chiron Review; The Ekphrastic Review; Flint Hills Review; Heartland! Poetry of Love, Resistance & Solidarity; I-70 Review; Illya’s Honey; KYSO Flash; MacQueen’s Quinterly; Midwest Quarterly; MockingHeart Review; October Hill Magazine; Red River Review; River City Poetry; Sheila-Na-Gig online; Shot Glass; Suisun Valley Review; Synkroniciti; Thorny Locust; Waco WordFest Anthology 2022; 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. 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 Writers Place and the Kansas Authors Club. He lives in Augusta, Kansas, midway between the Air Capital of the World and the Flint Hills, and enjoys chess, backgammon, and film noir.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Finding the Door: One Writer’s Approach to Ekphrasis, an essay on craft by Robert L. Dean, Jr. in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 13, May 2022)

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 Conflict Resolution

Windmill, ekphrastic poem inspired by Dean’s maternal grandfather; published in KYSO Flash (Issue 11, Spring 2019) and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

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

Llama, 1957, ekphrastic haibun by Robert L. Dean, Jr., inspired by Inge Morath’s photograph A Llama in Times Square; published in The Ekphrastic Review (13 January 2018)

Hopper and Dean: Interview and poems in River City Poetry (Fall 2017)

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