Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Ideation X

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Ideation X

Article excerpt


I'd give a fuck about the world outside

If Tennessee and its American

Holly swallowed me whole;


if Thuja Green

Giants would grow to armies, thick in toothed

Stinging nettle;


if banjoes reigned, string plucked

By plectrum;


if the sky at Greens' View seethed

Nashville and boiled over;


if green plains

Curled with the breeze that wreathed white Skullcap grins.


I'd give an arm for rye at 2 a.m.


I'd give a leg to have my pulse slow down,

An eye to keep from crying, give this machine

Connected to my butterfly-pricked vein

If I could go back to my summer home

Where I won't dial 911 or hear

The plan to ship me down to Vanderbilt.


What if

My voice, all swoll' up in the chest, and broad,

Had said, that box cutter you found was just

For packages: said, I agree; there will

Be someone else; It's August; nine times three

Is twenty-seven; yes, ma'am: no, there ain't

No misery that's worth nobody's life. …

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