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Bucolic Night


Stars burn over Alabama

Cool humidity cicada cries 

Cricket friction the silence

Water carving limestone


Clear fresh crawdads crawl

Cut a vein and watch

The blond orb weaver tie 

A moth in a silk straight jacket


Dew curdles on my tongue 

Time drools God swims  

In a cloud of clay

Dawn brings darkness

Cold ceiling pink mimosa

Flowers kudzu clouds

Willows weeping pray 

To the dark heaven my eyes


Dry in the humidity aphids

Trace the veins in an oak

Leaf turns brown cold curls 

Fingers forget how to feel

Losing My Southern Drawl


There are no sidewalks

In Kingtown no poles 

Light the broken asphalt 

Where oak limbs cross


Haints still hold

My fear in the shadows

Of their swinging bodies

Eternal regrets too drunk

To drive away the past

Forgotten and alone

Slurred before they died

There were no roads


But we passed and stayed

Farmers store owners

Pale natives ghosts

Who stand under willows

Walk limestone waters

We shiver in isolation

Multiply in isolation

Houses without shingles


Tell me a story please

I need to fear my neighbor

I don’t want to leave home

Send a ghost of a song

Gospel and upbeat

Torture deprive tear away

Shadows from the corner

My room dry blood hate

Tell me who I need to love

Tear the muscle from my arm

Mill wheel spins on grain

Generations fed broken


Syllables too precious to speak 

Line the shelf thermometers 

Insurance calendars TV 

Guides effigies plastic others


Stand guard in a mobile home

Above floods in tornados

Premature deaths kind words

Leather tears through skin 


New world grown old young

Blood too thick to survive

New denim green label fears

Wilt when the sun shines


My voice shallow fluent water

Hangs under an oak over 

Mill Creek waiting for anyone 

Who wants to hear me



Gregory Vance Smith regrets wasting his midlife crisis on cheap tequila and grad school. He passes his time in deep east Texas sun, writing and carving new experiences in the pupils of his eyes. His most recent publications are in The Abandoned Playground and The Piney Dark.

ISSN 2632-4423

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