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'This Thing Called Life'

Poetry Inspired by the
Music and Spirit of Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson


Curtis L. Crisler

About the Poet

Curtis L. Crisler was born and raised in Gary, Ind. He received a BA in English, with a minor in Theatre, from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), and he received his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

Crisler has published three poetry books, two YA books, and four poetry chapbooks.

His poetry has been adapted to theatrical productions in NYC and Chicago, and he’s been published in a variety of magazines, journals, and anthologies. 

Crisler is an Associate Professor of English at IPFW.

He can be contacted at


Spring 2017 »

For You (Mr. Nelson)
by Curtis L. Crisler

The day before Minnesota found you splayed out,
like some master’s painting under another

painting we knew nothing about
..........until museum authorities investigate,

you made grand plans for elsewhere-
&-other-things. Death hit you w/

a ninja’s punch—left you, evaporating like smoke
..........& doubt. & you probably took a few more steps

in your million-dollar high-heels, coordinating
w/ your badass couture—wrapped around your little

body, before wondering about losing balance—
..........that balance you always wear—a sure-foot

like JB gliding in his black ankle-boots &
pencil-legged slacks—sliding into nevuh-evuh.

& on the floor inside your paisley elevator, your palatial color of royalness, there’s one

thought, "Damn, I'm not gone make it to the next-
thing-&-that." So when we heard about you,

displayed like a swanky Picasso, we thought it of those internet-mismanaged-hoaxes,

or a new Prince-game you’d play to capture
our united focus. & only if it were.




Curtis L. Crisler ~




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