Secret History of Depression Gulch

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June 20, 2016 by The Citron Review

by Jim Daniels


Ever wake up inside the world’s thin shell
and lie static with fear, knowing even the soft pillow
of your breath will not prevent cracking?

If you’ve ever taken drugs just to get out of bed,
I’m saving a seat for you on the pony express
out of this one-horse town called Depression Gulch.

Talking about it is either ridiculous or a part-time job.
The stubborn silence of remedial grief,
the busted equations of remaindered hours.

The door locks from the inside only.
The clock ticks from the inside only.
No shame in it because it’s all shame.

Before you know it, you’re sneaking out
to unscrew the bulb in the porch light,
to open wide, and swallow.


Jim Daniels’ latest books are Rowing Inland (Wayne State University Press), Apology to the Moon (BatCat Press), Eight Mile High, stories, (Michigan State University Press), and Birth Marks, poems (BOA Editions, 2013). Daniels is the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

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