Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Bumpy Necessity of Travel by Mike James

 Curves change the landscape. Drive straight through a mountain, all you see is darkness.
Even in a hurry, tunnels are the wrong way to go my friend. Take the side roads. You will get there soon enough and whoever expects you will still call you friend. Go ahead and stop at an outpost bar. Bless it on your way in with the name you wish you were given. Imagine you live within walking distance. Conjure up one favorite relative to get you out of any mess you might stumble in. Think about how your sister was never mad that you couldn’t fix her car. Love and sweat are little match for dirt and years. The bar’s resident biker will play darts for peanuts. He’s dressed like a prop for a movie. His voice a rasp of smoke and promises. He tells you he hasn’t been home for years.

Mike James has been widely published in magazines throughout the country in such places as Laurel Review, Negative Capability, Birmingham Poetry Review, and Chiron Review. His eleven poetry collections include: Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog), My Favorite Houseguest (FutureCycle), and Peddler’s Blues (Main Street Rag.) He has served as an associate editor for the Kentucky Review and Autumn House Press, as well as the publisher of the now defunct Yellow Pepper Press. He makes his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. More information can be found on his website at

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