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Distant Hills by Dane Holt

I like that the antidote for chaos might be more chaos

like I like the story of the confidence man who makes

a considerable fortune writing ante-mortem obituaries

and can boast P. T. Barnum among his clientele;

or how the story of my two grandfathers goes: one

a builder, employed to build a house to be haunted

by the widow whose husband conceived and developed

the modern repeating rifle; the other a moustachioed

and severe small-town Sheriff, a sweat or light rain

beading his forehead. They say a man enters town,

holds up this small gas station, makes off with nothing

more than pocket change, walking-around money,

having shot the red-headed teenage attendant, and

disappears. Blue lights coming on. Blue distant hills.


Dane Holt’s poems have appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, The Trumpet, The White Review, Stand, and elsewhere. He is Poetry Editor of The Tangerine, a magazine of new writing in Belfast.


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