Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Amy Holman: Pastor Among Suspects in Illegal Snake Bust

Amy Holman is a writer I don't know at all personally except in the way you tangentially know people who are into the same things you are via emails and such. I published her story Saving a Sister in Night Train some years back, and somehow I forgot or never knew she was a poet as well. Following links today gave me a journal called the November 3rd Club, where I found her poem, a great one. I wish I'd published it. So read some Amy Holman; you won't regret it. The long lines don't wrap correctly here, so you'll need to go to the November 3rd Club site to see the whole.


Pastor Among Suspects in Illegal Snake Bust


Venomous snakes seized in an undercover sting, AP indulges.
42 copperheads, 11 timber rattlesnakes, one western
diamondback rattlesnake, one fundamentalist pastor, two cobras,
one puff adder, nine true believers, and three cottonmouth
water moccasins. This reminds me of a telephone call

one evening in which my mother spoke of an ancestor—one
of the Virginia Ironmongers—who taught himself
Spanish by pinning words and phrases onto his sleeves as he
tilled the soil, and then went to Mexico as an interpreter
for Maximillian, until the government fell to mayhem,

and he escaped, but then, wading waist deep in the bayou,
he saw a water moccasin approaching. After escaping
that dull earth for better conversations in a decadent dictatorship,
he was to end in a swamp. He paid attention one last time,
watching the water moccasin swiftly swimming

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