Sean L. Corbin, a native of Mount Sterling, Kentucky, is a member of the Creative Writing BFA program at Morehead State University.  He is currently working on a chapbook of poetry and a short-story cycle.  When not writing, Sean serves as the president of The Writers Network at MSU and on the editorial board for the school’s literary and visual arts magazine, Inscape.



i feel the energy of stainless steel
at the touch of my fingers, static
charging the fuzz of full pockets
and stinging my hips, making them
jump in stationary exuberance, listening
to the air whispering doom in my ear –
this ground has grown stale and filtered
the stench of age into the atmosphere,
gagging the children of appalachia
like soot from a mountain crevice,
canaries growing silent, my voice rests
in my blue jeans against a gathering
of change, a meager collection of lint,
a handful of dust growing deeper,
and there is freedom in modernity
for those that check their key rings,
i can scare away ghosts with a twist
of my wrist, i can run from fire with a spark
and birth kinetics onto a western path,
so why do i stand here molesting teeth?
why do i stand here contemplating inertia?




the fields will be burning

splinters pierce my silken hands
as i hoe into the rough dirt
to guard against the parasite weeds
on behalf of five foot high
green stalks of false promises
and my hands are covered in nature’s
elmer’s – super glue – crazy glue
and i think that’s why they’re all
still out here pounding their feet,
scorching their bare arms,
eroding their joints once filled
with potential – they’re glued down
to this life of death that offers
nothing but black lungs and strange
lip growths and rotted hopes
that once sparkled in their youths
and now they’re doomed
to second-hand profits and
i don’t know if i should smile
and pat my own back or grab mamaw’s
handkerchief and wipe my eyes
because one day the fields will be burning
and i’ll be miles away, hoping everyone is safe




drawn     quartered

the trickle of blood down my wrists
           the leather thick, abrasive,
chained to a belgian on a highway,
pressed east by a snap, a
whoas, only horseflies,
my legs thinning,
           braced on the foundation
           of fifth-third bank,
tied with co-ax cable and ripping,
the belgian drawn by moonshine oats,
the tower still in concrete steel,
           and all the while my fingers
           taste the pork fat of the atlantic,
my toes smell the salt
of a pacific sunset,
           elbow deep in coal dust,
knee deep in silicon,
           my eyes clinched tight
           streaming salt straight down
into the steady, oldest soil