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Don’t Let Your Brother Buy a John Deere

Appalachian rust belt,
She takes a knife and bloodlets
Car seat leather 
Getting both her feet wet
Liquid copper

All she sees is 
And vinyl-sided,
Rows and rows and rows of pew,
Identic’ly bound plastic bibles
(There was no leather left for you)

from Indonesia,
Chicken soaked in bleach and brine,
Microwave-safe wilderness,
Trim your grass, or pay a fine.

Delphinium-lined highway, 
Guadalupe blue, 
She fawns over a dappled coat
And tender, hungry, hooves,
Have mercy on the overgrowth,
The chicory, the berry thorns,  
Have mercy on my canted ear,
Flicking towards each low machine, 
Forgive my feral, sanguine ways,
In the absence of your grace,
Naked asphalt, mown and sheared,
Deliver me from John Deere’s blades

A Cat Named Miller Genuine Draft

Riding the bindweed
Alchemical bin-bags
Shawling in seaweed

Two feet on the dashboard
To outrun the bug man
Parked by the head shop
Next to the plumber 

He’s feeding the gift horse 
Paranoid discourse
He’s clued your tobacco 
Ground up in oysters

The exterminator’s van 
Crawls painted with ants 
They’re golden, they’re Gilden, 
They’re dead— Rosencrantz.

“Wanted: Pool Techs-
No experience needed.”
Not much of a chemist
But the sign wasn’t greedy

Throw out the chlorine
And blame Tony Hawk
Drain the pool to a halfpipe 
And wait for the cops

Fluoridated car models
Green around the gills
The color of bottles
Lined up for the kill

A quick stop in Breezewood
For ammo and a milkshake
Swervedriver in Sheetz
And Rudy in high schools

I read your Palm Sunday
I rode on your hind knees
I drank Hondo holy water
Now baptize me three cheers 

Roadside Picnic

“Blow smoke into her face and
She’ll follow you anywhere.” 
At home she’ll dream all types of pipes 
With exhaust left in her dirty hair.

Lay a white cloth over your fender,
Near guardrails bent like velvet ropes, 
A paper dinner, leaded sunset, 
Sulfur pink to copper blue. 

There’s lead in the men, too,
Inked onto their burlap knees,
Walking tan along the shoulder,
Close enough to lasso me. 

Traffic crawls, I read their warp and weft.
When it picks up, there’s nothing left.
I could fit them into Mason jars, 
I could feed them to Kentucky carp. 

I dream like a child, when, when, when? 
I dream carved out center, white hotel,
I dream this road trip was over, and yet, 
I never leave this quarry, limestone head.

It all gives way in the frog-loud glade, 
The Virginia fairway, Terry’s place,
Where the Army Corps of Engineers
Took me to church to jerk my tears,
And the angel army said to me:

Swim across the lake,
Scale the man made,
Your tears are live bait, 
Devouring Greek plays;

Decant them, recant them, 
Let them vintage, 
And if you keep driving,
There’s wine for your picnic. 


Ivan F. Kennedy

Whoever has the boots for it,
Shuffles down a crop circle, 
To lay blankets over Fireweed,
(Willowherb or Ivan’s Tea)

Don’t ask Ivan about Bethlehem Steel, 
A hemisphere from ‘63,
He prays rosary up flaxen braids: 
Keep your blades away from me.

He can’t say Dallas, nor Grassy Knoll, 
He’s never had grass clippings stick to his toes,
And follow him home to his trimmed up wife,
Whose haircut drops feathers on the bridge of her nose. 

He comforts her from a redrum dream, 
Entrails in her hat, sliding down the Lincoln,
When she falls back asleep in embroidered linen, 
A pink suit glows on television.