At the river, I laughed in the face
of bluffs, dove deep with snakes,
and nearly drowned chasing sticks
thrown into shoals by a brother
I haven’t spoken with in years. No
wonder it turned out as it did,
everything gone back to its source.
I remember that wild look in his eyes
on the edge of the Big Piney,
how he couldn’t fathom my struggle
just to breathe. Not so different
from when he came to visit prison
and took me in his big arms, all
the love and panic just the same.
—from Rattle #47, Spring 2015
Christopher Presfield: “As an American prison poet, I try to live up to the standards set by a long list of imprisoned poets before me, including the likes of Baca, Corso, and Robert Lowell, to name a few.”