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.


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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.