'Alibi For Stolen Light': New Poems By Zan Bockes

Jun 26, 2018

Alibi For Stolen Light
Credit Zan Bockes

For the Lost


You’ve been turning right

at every corner; the sooty night


tangles your hair.  If the moon were out

you’d be making wishes, but doubt


strings lines across your eyes,

makes neon signs a disguise


for gold.  The wind is so cold it cuts

like dry ice wires, struts


and whips the newspapers down

the street in rolling stampede.  You drown


your teeth in Old Crow, bite

the sorrow on your tongue in two, tight


as a clenching fist.  St. Anthony knows

your lyric rambles, knows the wind owes


you money.  The empty streets are long

tonight; this wind, a bitter song.


About the Book:

FootHills Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Alibi for Stolen Light, a 60 page hand-stitched collection of poetry by Zan Bockes. This is the second release in the Montana Poets Series #3, edited by Craig Czury. For more information about the book here.

Zan Bockes
Credit Zan Bockes

About the Author:

I escaped the womb in 1958 in a little log hospital in Nuremberg, Germany. My mother called my birth “one of the Nuremberg Trials.” I “grew up” (the term is used loosely) in Omaha, Nebraska, in a small family with a host of dysfunctions. You might say our family had “issues.” (Well, not just issues--more like a lifetime subscription). I became a writer before I knew the alphabet and developed a habit of jotting things down. Since then, I have lived my life in the quest for the best story, always curious about the next plot twist.

Between 1976 and 1990, I attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Iowa, where I took part in the Writers’ Workshop as an undergraduate. I graduated with a BA in English and a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.

I met my Favorite Person, Mike Kincaid, in 1990 and we have been together since, sharing a funky Northside house in Missoula with three orange feline children, Kiefur, Kip and Carly.

In my early twenties, I developed symptoms of a mental illness and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As far as plot twists go, this proved to be a big one. For extended periods I could not work or go to school, and I spent much time in psychiatric hospitals. I am very fortunate to have survived, and I’ve achieved a level of recovery beyond all expectations.

I owe much to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an organization that has made a huge impact on my life and others with mental disorders. Through advocacy and education, its members have given me the opportunity to share my experiences and give back to the people and communities that have supported me. I only hope I can continue to help erase some of the myths and stigma surrounding mental illness.

Besides engaging in “writing behavior” (a term coined by one of my doctors), I work as a Residential Sanitation Specialist for my own housekeeping service, “Ms. Clean,” where my business is always picking up.

My first love remains to be fiction, but poetry presents challenges of another sort that I enjoy exploring. I have published both in numerous magazines and anthologies that are so small, they can only be seen through a microscope, and I’ve received four Pushcart Prize nominations. My first collection of poetry, Caught in Passing, came out in 2013 from Turning Point Books (WordTech Communications).

This book is my alibi for the crime of stealing light. I was too busy writing to even be considered a person of interest.