MUDHOLE of the overdose ::: of the carotid arteries :::  of the fried chicken induced comatose :::: of the frightened black and dark red sheet of which has :::: wrapped his head and the thousand fold winter: :: and the lily cut spring ::: and the apple sucking fall :: and the eternity summer and the MUDHOLE of the every standing certainty and to the extinction of fish ::: MUDHOLE of the fence post drilled to the southward facing god of the hills and to the flooded banks of the new and to the light fixtures and the brick pavers laid lopsided :::: on the lack of soul of each and every MUDHOLE in the wild and to the cat ::: that hugs the fence and comes walking back and back for week old tuna and ::: MUDHOLE that rubs the inside of the eyes ::: at day break and the five forlorn hawks ::::: and the calf being licked over several times from now forward ::::  MUDHOLE of the bank managers eyes and the money fucking factory of line eating tree eating bush eating eyes spitting

consumers for the childhood of the system grins

as I drive and imagine riding the powerlines as a boy
and spitting down from the lookout and a wind swept
loogie toward the down ooooo and it grins
wider than the chocolate milk swollen river bank 

and how I
cuss the rain
for fishing for
how grateful it can
become a
limelight and drowning
like the coonhound
lost to snakes which I
hate and the still cold
the turning green
the moss is waving
exits and moves
around like a
microwave dinner




the hospital is a dream
no one went to that

had health insurance.

broken right arm
dislocated left elbow
sprained ankle
broken right foot

you would rather dream the dinner

theater owned by Floridian
tourist opened in 2001

just after 9/11.

a few sponsored spaghetti benefits
of the terminally ill.
    Garth Brooks cover band
    once a month.
    an American flag
    is a safe dream.
    Trump / Pence stickers on

all the cars. excuse me
your dream was
interrupted. one cell
provider dropped call
   lost service. sponsored ad

by the soda company
     where everyone works

after school if they stay

the bully’s dad owner spokesman
five different kids with five different
        women is the slogan.

we interrupt this
message to provide his
son caught spinning up

the football field. in his pick-up
he will miss his senior night
game & tell me he would fuck my sister
oh man she’s looking good

where is my wet dream. now
a transition to night scares
    of the state kept tax
    when we got behind
    & repossessed
    mom’s car. lean on

the house. took my grandmother’s

land & god is
taking her mind

is this a punishment
is this a genetic disorder
is this the end of the world
is this where I pray
is my dad next

this is becoming a fever dream of
a town. I am a remote-control
   drone driven by tourist
   hands. at the choose & cut

instead. shut my fingers
in the truck door. lost my shoes
my phone. started a fire. pissed  

on the fire. woke up went

to church with my parents. just over the hill

from which I am now. ascending. laid off
over 20 percent everyone my family
knew. hillbilly grill owned by Floridians
food like shit. only for tourists

the grocery store. butchered
whole hog sausage. closed on Sundays

like people’s drug store. bought
plan b for my girlfriend. after prom

with money I made
cutting grass. that spring  

we broke up. a couple
days after. cheating

with the centerfielder. she tries
to text me now. where is

my wet dream. wrecked
my jeep the first winter
I had it. late coming home
from the movies. cops said
pass a sobriety test after
driving into the tree. replaced
front bumper. realigned the front 

axle. bankrupt

nursing home. every one’s grandparents died. at high school girlfriend worked part time. got onto pain pills stole off the patients. we would drive up MT. Jefferson to snort Vicodin off the back bumper. not worry about what happened below us. we would look down & see the hospital lights. hear the jake brakes off tractor & trailers when it got dark enough we would go

home. not talk until next time.


ICE is now coming
to deport your

workers. this is not
a dream. wake up this is an order.

10 were gone
in seconds. happened that

fast. a business owned by Floridians

at the annual haunted house- little league
   field- converted winery. converted sinner
   in the parking lot. my first blowjob
   on Halloween night. she asked & I felt
   guilty. gripped to the steering wheel. hell
   is moving just below me. this is my wet dream.
   owner suicide. no longer in business & forgive us


we are not              a violent place
we are an area             of concern for others
we will never             turn our back. yes lord. we will

pray. wash the feet of

the deacons. take our money
ties to the next county
over. to Tennessee. yes lord we

will open our hands to
the people. they are the ones
who need us. yes lord. we will not

give in to 

dope smokers
yes lord

we will not
indulge in the drink. we
must be vigilant for Christ
he comes like a thief  

in the night. lord we come
to you today for we are
fearful. a congregation fallen

short of the glory of
   god. we have all
   been lost & backslidden
   yes lord



turn on the light
again. lord we
need you to
hear us. this is  

the end of days. we
will be washed
again. holy lord

as the river
floods to the horse’s
bridle. with blood.
yes lord. it will never
run dry.




Evan Gray is from Jefferson, North Carolina and the author of the chapbook Blindspot (The Rest (Garden-Door Press, 2017). His work has been featured in Word For/Word, Inter rupture, Dream Pop Press, and others.