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About this poet

Adrian Blevins received a BA from Virginia Intermont College in 1986, an MA in fiction from Hollins University in 1990, and an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College in 2002.

She is the author of Appalachians Run Amok (Two Sylvias Press), winner of the Wilder Series Book Prize and forthcoming in 2018; Live from the Homesick Jamboree (Wesleyan University Press, 2009); and The Brass Girl Brouhaha (Ausable Press, 2003), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. 

Of her work, Linda Gregerson writes, “Edgy, double-timing, favoring the feint and swerve, she plays the momentums of slang and syntax, run-on and compression for all they’re worth.”

With Karen McElmurray, Blevins edited Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia (Ohio University Press, 2015). The recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Foundation Award, she teaches at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.


Live from the Homesick Jamboree (Wesleyan University Press, 2009)
The Brass Girl Brouhaha (Ausable Press, 2003)


Even the large babes were small.
They were like two empty toilet paper tubes you glue together into a bazooka to blow at the cosmos through. 
They were like hummingbirds on a spit. 
Hummingbirds, goldfinches, wrens—something that’s got its feathers all wet in the rain out there & the wind. 
This was back when I was still so young & even more combustible—when all I wanted was to sit on the ledge to the left there & drink a little & smoke. 
That is, I was a big fretter—I had a worried brain—I couldn’t stop counting what was nineteen inches long—nineteen or twenty—like the foot plus not even the whole calf of my little sister. 
Like certain black roasting pans in my mother’s pantry. 
Like her dark green throw pillows not exactly everywhere. 
Like the trees behind the house that worked so hard to be tall & kill pansies. 
Like the balusters of banisters spinning on the table in the cabinetmaker’s shop. 
Maybe that’s where they’d make the elfin casket, if it came to that. 
I wanted something simple & plain—pine, maybe—something with a texture of goose down as it degraded to sawdust so the baby’s littleness could be married inside that darkness to some kind of softness like frayed wheat. 
This was when I was twenty-two. 
I had, as the saying goes, my whole life to look forward to. 
The new little thing was giggling over there on a blanket—eyeing the world as it flitted & sang.
The new little thing was all hot sequin & dazzle & cute pee flaunt.
Nobody was dying. 
Nobody was even the slightest bit sick. 
Still I sat there wedged inside myself waiting for whatever gods to come on & ruin it. 
That is, as regards the serrated heaviness I seem to have to carry along inside me with its old edge hanging like a leaf from the top of the collarbone to a certain nervy line just above the pubes.
I am talking about what feeling that feels like. 
What having the little ones did to me & how much each trifling half inch as they would grow would ache.
It is twenty-seven bobby pins in a long, bloody row. 
It is a spatula. 
It is a rotting harrow. 
It is the plough & the rake. 
It is the spade.

Originally published in Zone 3. Copyrgight © 2012 by Adrian Blevins. Used with the permission of the author.

Originally published in Zone 3. Copyrgight © 2012 by Adrian Blevins. Used with the permission of the author.

Adrian Blevins

Adrian Blevins

Adrian Blevins is the author of Live from the Homesick Jamboree (Wesleyan University Press, 2009). She lives in Maine.

by this poet


            I love-love-loved the alphabet
back when I could use it to go OMG & WTF

vis-à-vis some shady late capitalist wrongdoing
such as the rich & famous floating off the continent

in the most flagrant of boats, leaving just
the youngsters & me here on the

Back when my head like an egg in a nest  
was vowel-keen and dawdling, I shed my slick beautiful 
and put it in a basket and laid it barefaced at the river 
among the taxing rocks. My beautiful was all hush 
and glitter. It was too moist to grasp. My beautiful 
had no tongue with which to lick—no discernable

As for living to the side of yourself like a pile of rice
                        in the vicinity of the fish (as for being an eye-self
                                    hanging above a body-self

content with separating cowboy stuff