Rocky Woods – Dan Chelotti

I read Tintern Abbey here

Hoping that I could

Hear myself reading it

But all I can hear is a guy

In a Bruins hat

Wooing his girl with a song

And the highway drone

And a black-capped chickadee.

I can’t help but to think

Of the friends lost

To songs of betrayal

At the tree line of my anxiety.

Does everyone have a place

Where you can’t find

The original vista

Because the original vista

Came around the other side

Of dried flowers

With a name as real gone

As an expired email?

Here with the first flies

Foregrounding the pines

On the opposing rise

And a pewter box

With dust pasted

Over the meaningfully

Embossed lid I spit

On to make worse

Canada geese plaintive overhead

I free myself from sitting

And move to a fairy path

Marked by a yellow

Budweiser can and a dwarf oak.

A crowd of titmice barrel

Through the surrounding pines

As much of a return

As I can muster at 37

A prince of forgetting

What matters in the face

Of the universal fuck it

Hello, old feeling

I am holding the oversoul

Remote control yelling

I got you I got you

There is no death

Only consensual fucking

And mute red buds in the sun

The only end is the bit of a cold

I will have caught standing on granite

As I finish the 9th

A weathered closer

It is time. I am tracing

The path back to the car

And there is a red squirrel

On a sapling so close

I can hear its terror

And I sigh, Oh buddy,

You’ll have to do.


Dan Chelotti is the author of x (McSweeney’s) and two chapbooks, Compost (Greying Ghost Press) and The Eights (Poetry Society of America). His poems have appeared in A Public Space, Boston Review, Conduit, Poetry, and many other journals. He is an associate professor of English at Elms College.

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