Three of my latest poems, “Surely Some Revelation Is at Hand,” “Intergothic,” and “Hunger Signification,” are currently available in the Fall 2016 issue of The Adirondack Review.
The Adirondack Review has published poetry, fiction, essays, works in translation, visual art, photography since 2000. They are especially interested in work that references the natural sciences, but are open to work of all themes and subject matters.
What Inspired These Poems About Western Living
As I mention in my story of how I became a poet, most of my work focuses on the landscape, history, and culture of the American West. In my work, the West is not a romanticized region, however, but a deeply troubled, violent, and broken region. It is also a region I was born to, however, meaning I have a unique perspective on it. Rather than writing as a distant outsider about the people and places that make the West what it is, I write from first-hand experiences growing up in rural Nevada.
“Surely Some Revelation Is at Hand”
The first poem is largely a reflection on seasonal change and isolation, which any Westerner can relate to. Seasons are a big deal in the West, because the livelihood of many farmers, ranchers, and truck drivers hinge on them. Seasons mean crop rotations, worrying that a mountain pass will prevent your next haul, and preparing for the summer dry season, during which a wildfire might strip you of your home.
The poem is also a response to Yeats’ “The Second Coming,” as anyone who is a fan of this poem will no doubt recognize.
“Intergothic” is an interesting poem, because it’s the closest I’ve gotten to a kind of negative representation of my own aesthetic. It’s the kind of poem I never feel like I can write: impersonal, steeped in traditional literary sources, and filled with words like “faux-leatherbound.” Think of it as a working class narrator’s response to the big city.
Then there are poems that you like so much that it hurts you when no one else seems to like them. “Hunger Signification” was the first poem I wrote in graduate school that I thought was really good. It’s very concrete, and largely a lyrical reflection on driving a truck across a Western landscape, but it’s also about something bigger, about hunger, the concept and the experience.
This is one of my oldest poems to appear in a recent issue of a lit mag. I originally wrote this poem in the fall of 2006 and I have tried, without success until now, to get it published. I’m overjoyed after ten long years to see it featured in a magazine I deeply respect.