Large crowds gather in late industrial style:

Austin, MN; Peoria, IL; Flint, MI.

Quantrill’s corporate raiders and John Brown’s ghost.

DNA marketplace and love for sale, love on the rocks.

Starting a new life on her father’s South Dakota farm.

Sallow August afternoons, while ADM undercuts

small-scale production.

Diesel trucks idle outside a Flying J travel plaza.

A cardboard sign held out back reads in large black marker

“Trying to get home to see my sweetheart.”

A baby on the way and two already sleeping

in the parents’ small room. Generations

of atmospheric pressure, of violence,

spoken in sharp words.

Hunting frogs at night with a lantern and stick.

Illusory nomad ego raids on the culture.

Critique. The non-metaphysical: a rescued poverty.

The danger of replacing ethics with aesthetics.

You make me tense. What a life a mess can be.

History from below and a barter economy

like trading braiding for baby-sitting.

A documentary urge and language to chew.

You Might Also Enjoy

Watching Over

Linda Hogan

This land I watch over / is a place with old stories / and plant medicine. / It is earth a mountain lion walks . . .


The Crystal Lithium

Aaron Smith

James Schuyler thought to call his book The Crystal Lithium
when he was my age without knowing he was going to. . .


Captain’s Table

Kate Christensen

For the past decade or so, I have been obsessed with news stories about cruise ships, in particular the idea of minor disasters at. . .


Baffler Newsletter

New email subscribers receive a free copy of our current issue.

Further Reading

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.