"The sun woke me up slashing the walls with its bright yellow blades. I studied on the dust motes floating in the air for a while, then I got up and went to the bedroom. I saw right away it was a done deal. That’s when I called the police and told them to come on up to Pawpaw Ridge."
From "The Devil's Better Half." Floyd County Moonshine, (February 2009).
Find hard-faced boys
with anthracite eyes,
who were too wise too soon,
schooled in hell’s shafts,
seams and slack.
From “Appalachia, Man: Can You Dig It?” A! Magazine for the Arts, vol. 15, no. 4. (April 2008), print.
Would you mourn,
my lizard king,
for this hollow mountain?
Cry for high walls,
a crownless queen?
From “Scream of the Butterfly.” We All Live Downstream: writings about mountaintop removal, ed. Jason Howard, Louisville: Motes Books, 2009.
Serenade me with the
stutter of Jake brakes on coal trucks
traveling down mountains.
Anoint me with the
pickled tang that hangs heavy
around the red bubby bush.
Lay me down in horsemint
and hemlock shadows,
shallow valleys, hallowed hills.
From “Anoint Me.” Poetry. 2009 Explorations Contest, Mountain Empire Community College.
I wasn’t wild about winter on Pawpaw Ridge. If ever there’s been a godforsaken place, it’s that mountain in the middle of February. The trees was slick and black and they pinched the empty air like they was mad. The snow was not white up there, but blue. It seemed unnatural to look out on that blue snow with the sun grinning down on it not doing a bit of good. And the wind was all the time blowing. That was what got to me the most.
I was always running to the door or the window to see who was tapping. Like to drove me crazy. Royce was used to the air creeping around the house, poking every corner with its invisible fingers.
From “The Devil’s Better Half.” Floyd County Moonshine, (February 2009).
Peter took his beating for the cracked ridges and deep valleys in her voice. He had started the fight because he was homesick and she sounded like home, but he blamed the bourbon. He had knocked back four shots of Maker's Mark before he ever met the girl.
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