Thursday Night Poetry

Tonight's poem comes from my friend and teacher Davis McCombs, currently at the University of Arkansas. Davis came to Arkansas in the spring semester of my third year at Arkanasas as a visiting writer, and we loved him so much, we got him hired as permanant faculty. He became my thesis director, and helped me immensely on my successful application for the Stegner Fellowship, so to say I owe him is the understatement of a lifetime. He was the winner of the 2000 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, and tonight's poem comes from that volume, titled Ultima Thule.

Kentucky

Blue heart, blue
vein, bluegrass
in wind. Near dawn,
a trickling. Paint
flake and darkened door.
Barn and blackshank.
A field of burley.
A lean-to.
Old lean man.
Green River
by john-boat, a trotline.
The fruit jar
near the fieldstone
wall. Channel cat,
gar. A cane
brake, a cave.
A road through
cedars. Fencerows.
Tents on a gravel bar--
campfire, grave.
Blood cross on door.
Damp curtain, hot
night, blue moon.
The house quiet:
the porchswing and the pie
safe. The hinge.
Plowpoint and spear.
Fossil, watercress,
worm. A cradle.
Blue corn, blue-
grass in wind, ocean
you once were.

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