Trio House Press
Publishing distinct voices in American poetry

The Consolations by John W. Evans

Winner of the 2013 Trio Award, selected by Mihaela Moscaliuc
John W. Evans is the author of the memoir Young Widower (University of Nebraska Press, 2014), winner of the 2013 River Teeth Book Prize, and the poetry chapbooks No Season (FWQ, 2011) and Zugzwang (RockSaw, 2009). His poems and essays appear in The Missouri Review, Boston Review, ZYZZYVA, The Rumpus, Slate, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. A native of Kansas, he was previously a middle school teacher in Chicago, a high school teacher in Romania, and a Peace Corps volunteer in Bangladesh. He earned a B.A. degree in history and a state teaching license at Northwestern University, and an M.F.A. in poetry at Florida International University. He teaches creative writing at Stanford University, where he was previously a Wallace Stegner Fellow.

Eclogue

 

 

                        Twenty-Two Months

 

 

Rent in the neighborhood is dropping.

Rent everywhere is dropping. Can you spare

a little CHANGE,

asks the sign where my bank,

merging with the bank across the street,

fails. I want to own land in my country.

I want to make my place in this city certain.

The fish in the bar next to the laundromat:

do they know the limits of their translucent world?

When my wife died I thought,

All within us praise His holy name.

His power and glory ever more proclaimed.

Even then I knew that life didn’t really end,

that it would fissure into two places,

inside and out. The woman I love now

distinguishes absence from loss.

When there is no fog on a nearby hill

we walk through her old neighborhood

to the city’s highest point.



Eclogue

 

 

                        Twenty-Two Months

 

 

Rent in the neighborhood is dropping.

Rent everywhere is dropping. Can you spare

a little CHANGE,

asks the sign where my bank,

merging with the bank across the street,

fails. I want to own land in my country.

I want to make my place in this city certain.

The fish in the bar next to the laundromat:

do they know the limits of their translucent world?

When my wife died I thought,

All within us praise His holy name.

His power and glory ever more proclaimed.

Even then I knew that life didn’t really end,

that it would fissure into two places,

inside and out. The woman I love now

distinguishes absence from loss.

When there is no fog on a nearby hill

we walk through her old neighborhood

to the city’s highest point.