Three Poems by Jonathan Dubow

by: Jonathan Dubow

Jonathan Dubow’s poems are about “passing through” the American landscape with such attentiveness that we are forever marked by the complicated beauty of what we see and how it signals our own time-bound nature to us, or as the poet puts it “village of herrod hill kentucky bourbon trail/ time’s the elevator time’s the mule.” 

passing through tennessee valley

passing through tennessee valley
with grief old gin carpets and rugs

in the same place the great river floodplain

in the same place drawing isobars on maps just sobbing

with the same meter limestone miles

at the same time bridge to the moon


passing through bone of blue ridge

passing through bone of blue ridge track through river valley
driving through the creek up to the gray sky

with the same meter you come out wearing black socks and turn on the fire
how much do i not want to answer the door

in the same place altogether
where our host spent thirty-four years on the mountain

in the same place we take the dogs out
there are ecstatic southern baptists at the church next door
we come back quickly
thinking about who in the past saw through this world

with the same meter the four wolves in the copper
two are howling in the woods stonehouses
from the end of the last universe


passing through glassware mountains

passing through glassware mountains
crockery mountains

with the same meter big sandy river kentucky coal plant smell
last bell the cell towers little sandy river
ping lighting up the spine

at the same time arc and rage
knobs horizons
kentucky folk arts center

at the same time
barns in twilight fences bare trees patios
in space mealy machine sky
laundry and ink paper everywhere

with the same meter kentucky river green slow shaker
village of herrod hill kentucky brourbon trail
time’s the elevator time’s the mule


Jonathan Dubow lives in Pennsylvania and teaches at Shippensburg University. He has recent work in Alien Mouth, Axolotl, Reality Beach and elsewhere.
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