Kevin Chesser

After having spent too much time reading
about Donald Trump on Twitter, I dig up an
old Facebook status and turn it into a poem

In the valley tonight, we watched a thunderstorm shaped like a fist move in over the tree line. You could see it spitting out sheets of rain in the distance until it settled directly above the house. For a moment, leaves were swirling everywhere, like huge drunk insects, lightning ripping about madly. Just over the hill, a day-long-burning trash fire began to billow with its death smoke. For days to come, there would be a glimmer of a scent of scorched plastic, and broken boughs dead as deer in the green ditches. Once, I dreamed of coming upon one of those enormous cathedral organs in these woods, and when I sat down to play, it made a sound that reached heaven, which is, of course, what they are made to do. I wonder, on days when the sun refuses to rise, if it is because it cannot move, for having glutted itself all night on the blood of weaker stars, or because it has seen some of the same things I have seen.


Having grown tired of living in the forest,
I rent a house in town and write poem after poem
about spaceships and their lonely inhabitants

Somewhere out in the freezing oil slick of space, there is a craft on no apparent heading. You can see into the cabin through little windows that will put you in the mind of the Titanic. 
There’s a digital fireplace and a family opening cans for dinner. They have set their futuristic weapons aside and say a prayer before starting to eat. Last year, they lost a son. The sadness issuing from the event made even space seem walled in, as a city on Earth. And into me, too, Earth stares back, from the grimy bathroom mirror of this old space rover. I remember the warm gray tunnels of early November in the downtown Alleghenies, my favorite camel colored sweatshirt, coffee mixed with red wine, Julia, Cameron, and Ty. Oh, I should radio with a kind word, but it will be all night fixing the sewage line. We used to have a saying, up here, something about stars and death and the relative value of coins. I don’t remember. My dog thumps his tail in his sleep, dreaming of himself dreaming. He doesn’t remember either.


Kevin Chesser is a poet and musician living in Elkins, West Virginia. His work has appeared in The Pikeville Review, The Travelin’ Appalachians Revue, and on the Dr. Doctor podcast. He holds an MFA in poetry from West Virginia Wesleyan College, and performs regularly in old-time stringbands around the region.


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