Rural Theory of Mind. In Three Voices


(Chest beat, chest beat)
(Chest beat, chest beat)

Corn, corn, corn
Corn, corn. Corn
Orn, orn, orn, orn, 

Mu, me, muse

Seed, seed. 
Bowl and spoon
my moon unjawed
and open to every voice. 
If a man wears the wrong dress
what does it say about cruelty?
The answer: in every heart.

Ah, ah, ah--

Shake me far pines,
the edge of the field.
my wild beard a tanglehome
for honeysuckle and bluebells, 
simple pasture flowers.

(chest beat, chest beat)


The child, gamesome, 
cumber fiddles, 

things that I want, 

the happy drooping plate, 

meter of apron and butter. 

love, is the trigger,                                              




I don't have a lemonade stand
because I ain't got no lemons. 
My lemons are all messed up. 

And I don't know what to do, 
The world on the back of a woman. 
Ha, my friend today is nowhere
and nowhere is my street, 
and your street, too. 

Let me ask you a better question, 

how you make lemonade
without clean water?

(chest beat, chest beat)

(chest beat, chest beat)

my uplifted feet on the bottom bar
of the fence
the irrigation of dragons. 

I am free, I am free

Clover and deer.
Clover and deer. 

My dear child, 

My dear tow eyed wonders.

The magic of grandmother
bowl and spoon. 

(chest beat, chest beat)



Ah-eye, Ah-eye
M--n, M--n-

M--n, M--n-.
or my money or
and the hammer.
the barrel, 



I have a light in
my palm
see it burn twice? 

If there were
more work
there'd be more

You cannot love

You cannot love

(chest beat, 
chest beat)

Farm belly, farm, 
my mother
held my throat
when I went for
my father's vice. 

Gas, gas, gas, gas. 
I could drive
Friday end to end
Does your throat

Speak low. 

There's so many


Earth falls through
your fingers
as easy as water, 

My throat, 
aimed at you. 



Stephen Scott Whitaker (@SScottWhitaker) is a member of National Book Critics Circle and the managing editor for The Broadkill Review.  His poems have appeared in Oxford Poetry, Grub Street, and Anderbo, among other journals.  He is the author of three chapbooks, including the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize winning Field Recordings, and the USA Book Award nominee, All My Rowdy Friends.

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