Clyde Kessler

Cousin Caney from Nowhere

Singing took one cousin off
born to clouds and lonesome riding
back to nothing and it needled him
in his songs. I could see him scratch
music from a tin can, or burl-wood.
I could hear the voice gouging a cliff
through fog. Then he’d disappear.

Fame was bleeding him alive.
He was like a crow plucking its own
wing feathers, and dropping them
on a scarecrow. He was like a daddy
whispered blind to his babies.
The wife told me he was a wall
that caught fire, and sang for rain. 


Clyde Kessler’s poems have been published in online and print magazines, most recently in Red Booth Review, Canopic Jar, Poems In Which, and Knot Magazine. This is his third appearance in Still: The Journal. He lives in Radford, Virginia, with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. They have an art studio in their home called Towhee Hill.


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