Sardis Lake at Hurricane Landing

by James Everett

Clasp-locked coolers from thirty years ago
        antifreeze bottles and countless packaging
of oil containers and coke bottles and milk-jug buoys
candy bar wrappers and gasoline jugs
        plastic shopping bags
half buried in mud and shopping bags kicked in the wind
and more plastic bags in the trees remember
        Wal-Mart and grocery stores
gas-stations and gas-stations
cigarette packs and small sleeves of plastic
        tobacco tins and pouches
brown and water-logged cigarette butts fading back into the earth
pop-top beer cans filled with mud and dirt and leaves
        sunk and resurfaced and pushed ashore
newer aluminum playing in the edging water
and dragged onto the muddy sand declaring
        drinking preferences along one hundred miles of shore
        High Life
Milwaukee’s Best and Budweiser
Coke and Diet Coke and Dr Pepper and Pepsi
        Sprite Sierra Mist Mellow Yellow Mountain Dew
Orange Crush and Nehi and Royal Crown Cola

Life preservers and a paddle and one broken watch
        one dead goose in the middle of a cypress dome
two or three small birds worn unrecognizable
blocks of Styrofoam from broken docks
        from disposable coffee cups
from dirt-filled packages of night-crawlers
a broken cricket tube
        and pieces of old polished bamboo
attached to some fishing line
and an empty reel of fishing line
        and an empty bucket with a broken handle
and an empty lake in winter time

James Everett says, “Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, I felt a certain loss of entertainment in my teenage years, and like others, I’m sure, I dreamt of bigger cities.  High school was drinking and parties in cow fields, abandoned lots, construction sites for new subdivisions.  Once a hay barrel was set on fire and to my recollection I never went cow tipping.   I started writing poems I’m not sure when, and left home for Davidson College on a creative writing scholarship.  In the past year or so I’ve worked contracted labor, managed a wine bar, taught at a community college, been a personal assistant and office task force and gardened for money.  Currently, I’m a Grisham Fellow in the M.F.A. program at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.  I live with my dog Zoe, a black mutt and reveler of mud puddles.”

James Everett was nominated for Poets Under 30 by Beth Ann Fennelly.