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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

from Flatbottom Inlaws | Grace Rogers

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

My Uncle has spent the past twenty years rambling about a patch of overgrown East Kentucky farmland two miles back Flatbottom Road where I grew up. The following poems are anagrams produced from lists of the plants and animals he cataloged and categorized on his many long walks over the years.


Reptiles and Amphibians of Flatbottom Include: Eastern Box Turtle, Snapping Turtle, American Toad, Tree Frogs, Moldy Tree Frog, Rat Snake, Hog Nose Snake, Eastern Milk Snake, snake that slithers into your dreams at night to remind you of the inescapable climate crisis and all you aren’t doing, undeniably phallic snake that explains the green new deal to you in incomprehensible jargon, the snake you ask to swallow you whole who won’t, and the snake who agreed to swallow you whole in a city of unending motion, the inside of the snake you see as you slide through her digestive system—isn’t this what you asked for? Time has finally stopped, but it isn’t as easy as you thought it would be. Still the hum of the bill that might pass before you say your peace, still the hum of the homework due, still the hum of your sister’s empty bank account, still the hum of your oil leak.

Afternoon at the unmown pagan hillside

burial mound: A moss caked stone

nests. A forlorn, procumbent stem

snakes. A blaring airplane

forges her pixilated

belt in knit fog. The sky’s

habit, the blotchy

torso, the digestive

system. The unending

roar of waking

hours slide beneath

my teeny feet. Time shifts and oughts,

swallow me. RIP

rurality, RIP whooping

crane, hello

hillsnake. Online in Astoria,

my sister says, “seeking to purge

toxic masculine energy.” I tweet,

“Just ask a snake to

swallow you whole.”

Am I unwieldy?

Am I whole? I stay

outdated, diluted,

outta the blue. An unfinished

selfhood. I hold

out the sh

of “hush,”

the l of “doll,”

“echo’s” o to lull

you both. At night,

the airplane’s

soft asyllabic nonspeech enters

my dreamscape

no habitat, no ease, no

hideaway. Only output.

At sunup, green

humbly hoots

the motif

O thank you, oil leak

Thank you, crisis.

Thank you, surefooted,

streaky patterns

who permeate time.

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Grace Rogers is a musician and poet from East Kentucky. She is currently an undergraduate at the University of Louisville. She was a summer resident at the Kentucky Foundation for Women in 2018 and served as poetry and experimental/hybrids editor of Miracle Monocle in 2018-2019. Grace's work was named honorable mention for Sarabande’s Flo Gault Student Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in The White Squirrel and The Uncommon Grackle.

Twitter: @grace_aaand

Instagram: @grassandrogers



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