Thursday, July 15, 2010

An untitled poem by Nicholas Shaner

Gnarled Oak, Knotty Pine is proud to introduce guest poet Nicholas Shaner.

Old sot in whiskey, lamp
Black shining along slick
Skin some old corpse long
Ago tied up, mostly rot
Thru now
And we seen ‘em nary
A month ago lining traps
In the woods didn’t
Think much anything that
They’d ever be back
But they done took that old
Boy clear past night
Their hounds were baying
Thru outer darkness rightly
At what sounded a panther’s
Scream and all we learnt
In them schools don’t mean
Anything nor let death down
From that boy’s shoulders
Where he perched with hay
Sickle, breath of wood alcohol
Baiting the boy’s neck, we’d seen
The way they came on down
Hollerin’ full and cussin’ each other
Empty of hand that night they
Did not check their traps
Knowing well the boy who done
Been thru earlier wasn’t to come
Back, yet what stranger we saw
Who followed him there?
I seen him also in the lines of yr.
Dress and oncet more in the
Light of morning, he waits for us
Stirring ashes in the fireplace
With the sickle he crouches upturning
A jar of white whiskey.
Let us go where he cannot follow no
bullet can take him down
I cast my die in a cruel gamble
And we run up the road tonight
Fast as hounds and quicker for
Them lonely eyes want us dead
Dear, my legs won’t run anymore
And my throat is parched with
An unbelievable thirst, death heavy
Upon my shoulders, his breath
Coal black and foul like embers
He spoke stirred in ashes, the words
He whispered scared me to hell.

Nicholas Shaner is a former Kentucky author who is notorious for turning down literary engagements. Little is known about his literary career and when prompted he insists he no longer writes. He lives alone in a small town in the foothills of the appalachian mountains.