Small Version of a Long Story

John James

Impalpable, transparent, a big man
In a rabbit-coat turns twice, turns three times
Toward the sun. And then away.

Reveals the storied longing he totes.
The yellow pain that he’s been gifted.

From winter to rank spring
He descends the snowy mountains.
Lewd, and plucking bluemonk from the vine.


John James is the author of THE MILK HOURS, selected by Henri Cole for the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize (Milkweed, 2019). He is also the author of CHTHONIC winner of the 2014 CutBank Chapbook Award. His poems appear in Boston ReviewKenyon ReviewGulf CoastPoetry NorthwestBest American Poetry 2017, and elsewhere. A digital collagist, his image-text experiments appear in Quarterly WestThe Adroit Journal, and LIT.

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