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Smerdyakov with a Guitar

From: The Missouri Review
Volume 36, Number 3, 2013
pp. 78-79 | 10.1353/mis.2013.0080

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Tonight I’m thinking
of my wife’s first love
whom I’ve never met
and last week was shot
in the head by his coworker
who shot seven others
and then himself.
You know the story,

you may even know this story.
First week of October,
a spastic wind outside
shaking moonlight
off the pampas grass.
The earnest signs
on telephone poles
warning the neighborhood
of the coyote pack
that haunts our pines.

I haven’t seen one yet,
but as she inspects the yard,
our dog’s hackles spike,
though she’s never seen one either.
And I’ve never seen
a man shoot another man,
though I once held a woman
after she had been shot
through the neck and jaw

and drove back to her apartment
next to mine. Resilient
is the word the surgeon used
to describe the brainstem
which controls the heart
even when everything else
has died. My wife’s first lover
will die tonight. My neighbor
survived, as will the coyotes

who keep to the shadows,
picking off a cat
or two, toppling trash cans
to get at the soup bones
sweating through the plastic.
Here, they do not howl.
They know by instinct
that if they see a man
—any man—they should run.

James Davis May  

James Davis May’s poems have appeared in Five Points, Green Mountains Review, New England Review, the New Republic, Pleiades, Tampa Review and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from Inprint and the Krakow Poetry Seminar. In 2013 he won the Collins Award from Birmingham Poetry Review. The former editor of New South, he lives in Young Harris, Georgia.

Copyright © 2013 The Curators of the University of Missouri
Project MUSE® - View Citation
James Davis May. "A Lasting Sickness, and: Portrait of the Self as Skunk Cabbage, and: Someone Takes a Pine Tree Apart, and: Critique and Rebuttal, and: Smerdyakov with a Guitar." The Missouri Review 36.3 (2013): 71-79. Project MUSE. Web. 22 Jul. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
May, J. D.(2013). A Lasting Sickness, and: Portrait of the Self as Skunk Cabbage, and: Someone Takes a Pine Tree Apart, and: Critique and Rebuttal, and: Smerdyakov with a Guitar. The Missouri Review 36(3), 71-79. University of Missouri. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
James Davis May. "A Lasting Sickness, and: Portrait of the Self as Skunk Cabbage, and: Someone Takes a Pine Tree Apart, and: Critique and Rebuttal, and: Smerdyakov with a Guitar." The Missouri Review 36, no. 3 (2013): 71-79. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 22, 2014).
TY - JOUR
T1 - A Lasting Sickness, and: Portrait of the Self as Skunk Cabbage, and: Someone Takes a Pine Tree Apart, and: Critique and Rebuttal, and: Smerdyakov with a Guitar
A1 - May, James Davis
JF - The Missouri Review
VL - 36
IS - 3
SP - 71
EP - 79
PY - 2013
PB - University of Missouri
SN - 1548-9930
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/missouri_review/v036/36.3.davis-may.html
N1 - Volume 36, Number 3, 2013
ER -

...



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