Chris Barton was born on the remnants of an Andersonville, Tennessee, farm in 1990. Growing up he helped his Uncle Paul raise cattle on the property until Paul retired from the industry. Chris notes this transitional period, where he witnessed the effects of modernization on the rural area of his hometown, as the best example for the awkward relationship he feels he shares with the region. Chris currently lives in Knoxville, and is a junior majoring in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He plans on attending graduate school out of state for creative writing, but has yet to settle on a university. Chris hopes to one day return to the East Tennessee area and help raise a family. This is his first publication.


After Reading a Placid Novel about Appalachia


Don’t forget the cartons and bottles
Lying between snakeskinned ditchlines,
Culverts mudded by gravel
Enough to seep a body in, soak ‘em
In that sour water so green
And growing like the nectar of sin.
Or the opossums in the grain bin hissing,
Sticking the stench of browned
Teeth on the brain.
An imprint I’d say, on the psyche;
So don’t omit the flies which swarm the bloody
Afterbirth, the complication calf imbuing
The horizon that will never lift its head to suck
The mother’s tit. The flies, don’t neglect
the flies extant among the hills
but not these pages.




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