Summer 2013 • Vol. XXXV No. 3 Poetry |

Just off the Road near Lynchburg, Virginia

John says, James Wright says—[something about how a poet writing about the landscape is always writing about himself]—I'm listening but also standing on a bridge over railroad tracks & watching some sort of woodchuck or muskrat or groundhog scurry in & out of the hilly underbrush so not listening closely Yeah I say It's beautiful here but I was writing city poems so … how can I explain to John I don't believe he exists don't believe in Virginia or these horses or houses that tractor lawnmower small mammal burrowing it is too incredulous such simultaneous lives I'm not sure the Earth is round can't perceive that & the hills of Virginia mean I can't see where I am except right here Old mountains Old trees, is what Laurel said when I asked her why I love this landscape even though I don't believe it exists even when I'm standing in it John I say I think James Wright is full of shit but I don't say that not even as a joke not even over the phone I wa

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