How to Make Wisconsin by Kirk Hathaway

photo of cows in shed

“Cowshed” (image via Flickr user freestocks.org)

You begin with cows. If you don’t have cows
you don’t have Wisconsin, only a shaved Michigan.
Then, you must have immigrants, lots and lots
of immigrants, mostly pale from being so long
in snow and supper clubs, from all the beer
and hops and barley that have bleached every
red cell in those unmistakably wintered bodies.
Finally, you must learn to say “no” like your face
is being shut between a door and its frame.

Kirk Hathaway, graduate of the Master’s Playwriting Program at San Francisco State University, is a previous recipient of a Showcase Writers Scholarship and Showcase Theatre Award with works produced in California and Ohio, and in collaboration with The Lancaster Chorale, Grammy Award Composer Robert Page, and a protégé of the late Marcel Marceau. He is a recipient of grants from Poets & Writers, the Ohio Humanities Council, and CATCO. Hathaway taught college writing and literature for over 20 years, and after being left for dead in a head-on collision, Hathaway retreated from playwriting for more intimate voices in poetry. His most recent poems are published in Peacock Journal, Steam Ticket Journal, Circle Show, Allegro & Adagio, with prose in Connotation Press: An Online Artifact.

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