Kirby was running the chains for me at this pick-up in Portland, Tennessee the day Loretta Lynn died. The 20-year old was always convinced they would marry. He played her music on his phone and moved slow as hell that day. The most recent auction he’d worked a man won a shotgun and promptly walked into the pavilion bathroom and killed himself.

Poets do it for the shame. They write as an excuse to not participate in the world, with the nauseousness of being seen without consent. If anti-poets are poets just like many anti-fascists are fascist, then who matter aren’t the dedicated, but those for whom compulsion outweighs title.

The Swiss farmer on the other side of Monroe, who broke his neck twice one year apart on his wife’s birthdays. I saw him get rear-ended on his John Deere B by his own truck careening down a hill with his great grandson in it, an amazingly tall narcoleptic on break from a college where you don’t wear shoes.

The disorganized are apt to lose, thereby cleaving what they’ve made from how they feel about it. I’ve been aimed to lose what I’ve made to the point of seeing it for what it is, a trespassable object.

“The DNR is real,” the father explained in that engine hut north of St. Cloud, dragonflies indulging in the mosquito smoke. His son had brought a moose calf home on the side-by-side. “I found him in the rumpus room spoon-feeding the thing molasses while watching TV.”

Importance is a measure of closeness, but it doesn’t account for speed. For me, the study of writing hasn’t been more than many quick and silent experiences, usually of things that I don’t like. But I’ve never really considered whether something mattered and ended up thinking that it didn’t.

Zan de Parry wrote Cold Dogs (The Song Cave, 2024) and runs Keith LLC with his brother Matthew Hodges. He lives in Ypsilanti.