author reading (.mp3) -

Dan Chelotti is currently pursuing his MFA at UMASS-Amherst. He has worked as an Assistant Managing Editor at Verse Press for the past three years. He lives in Easthampton, MA.

Staring at a Woodcut Elephant

I’ve always felt that when you cut into a tree, the newly bared wood should be warm, that, in winter, it should steam the way a kettle slowly disappears into the snow.

I guess I should mention the city.

A whole group of men I know like to sit around and talk about their pasts. I am supposed to hold myself back. As a matter of fact, I hate finishing anything, this I why I love them. When it comes down to it, the people I like the most are the people who got up early one morning for no particular reason and caught a deer sniffing around their outdoor toy train setup.

Yet, as I walk from the bank across the street to the town hall where I work, let’s say, as a clerk, I do believe the dead are around. Just around. By not mentioning them: when we approach a meter with a handful of quarters, ready to pay, and find that someone has overpaid an hour, a small exclamation escapes us, a little mumble unheard by our fellow pedestrian. And this is how we feed the dead.