City of 100 Lakes

Parker Logan

Winner of the 2023 Yellowwood Poetry Prize, judged by C.T. Salazar


You can walk from Norway to France in twenty minutes
              if you don’t stop in China, Italy, Morocco, or Japan,
but if you do, it’d still only take an hour and a half


              which leaves plenty of time to see the castle, Hollywood,
Mt. Everest, and, if you’re feeling ambitious, take I-4
              to the Holy Land. I hear they’re going out of business.


If you wake up early, you can catch the locals
              feeding alligators with clothes lines and metal sticks.
Friend, if you haven’t watched


              a fifteen foot long animal propel its thousand pound
body into the sky and tear a frozen chicken
              from a zip tie, then you’re just not living.


It’s benumbing, these divine creatures, our natural
              splendors, this eclectic panoply of hotel rooms,
marching bands, and ancient, blood-hungry reptilians.


              Don’t give money to those people with the orcas.
We’ve got plenty of zoos, farms, and menageries,
              but if you go anywhere near those whales, be prepared


to have a conversation. There are lives
              at stake. Swim in the lakes. Dive in the sinkholes.
Our aquifer is happy to cater. You’re our paycheck,


              our new cars, our nine to five, after hours, and overtime.
We’ll whip this swamp to your whims and inclinations,
              your family vacations, your business trips


and team-building events. You want a DJ for your wedding?
              I’ve got twenty. We take debit and credit.
Welcome to this city of entertainment,


              this city of critters, of light, of mermaids, and family.
Nobody knows how we got our name,
              either from Shakespeare, work, disease, or war,


but who really cares? There’s a whole side of town
              dedicated to a talking mouse,
and the only history that matters here is that rat’s


              how he turned this slough into a lucrative river,
our divine waterways making a profit,
              this city of pastiche and hollow structures


our land of forgotten heritage.
              Come for the beach and leave with a sunburn.
Fill out our survey. Tell us: how did we do?





PARKER LOGAN is originally from Orlando, Florida and currently lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is the former director of the Delta Mouth Literary Festival and is the incoming EIC of the New Delta Review. His work can be found in Split Lip, Ghost City Review, and is forthcoming in Pleiades.


The art published alongside this poem is by Anna Buckley.