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About Spencer Keralis



The Rabbit Sellers

(Easter 1991, Riverton, Wyoming)

From a chicken wire cage on
the bed of an old Ford
the man pulled a struggling doe.
The lady patted her hands together,
bovine eyes twinkling.  He took
her money and put it in a cigar
box held together with masking tape
and a tired smile creased
the corners of his gray eyes.

Three round and solemn faces peered
through the filthy window of the cab;
the children knew what the woman
could not
that her money would go
toward this season's feed and seed
and that those rabbits not redeemed by her
and her kind would die on Friday,
to rise again as Sunday dinner.

© 1991, Spencer Keralis; included in Geography & Circumstance
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This poem appeared previously in the Dry Crik Review of Contemporary Cowboy Poetry


(Elbert County, Colorado, Easter 1989)

"Glove up, boys," says the farmer,
looking out on fields still gilded
with frost. "Ever done this before?"
I shake my head, eyes fixed on the goat,

her sides distended. The farmer's
son slaps me on the back, hands me a glove.
The hairy old matron rocks in the straw,
reptile eyes slitted with pain.

The other boy takes her head in his hands,
cooing and sighing. I wait shaking
at the other end. The mother bucks,
lifting stretched belly in one valiant push.

Two red triangles followed by pencil-thin
legs push through into light. "Grab 'em and pull,"
says the farmer's son, and I do.
In a slick liquid rush, the kid bursts

free; I hold it kicking upside down, fluid
running from nose and mouth. The mother,
sides sagging, struggles up, bends to lick
steaming fluid from its eyes and ears.

My friend and I lean against a wall;
I roll off wet gloves to scratch at
a raw squirt of blood that dries on my face,
watch the kid wobble upright, then kneel to nurse.

© 1991, Spencer Keralis; included in Geography & Circumstance
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




  About Spencer Keralis:

Spencer Keralis was born and raised in Riverton, Wyoming, where he witnessed scenes very much like the one in "The Rabbit Sellers."

Currently, he lives and works in Colorado. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, The Dry Crik Review of Contemporary Cowboy Poetry, and The Owen Wister Review. His scholarly work has appeared in Book History and Texte und Töne, and he maintains an occasional blog on critical theory and contemporary young adult fiction. Spencer was a member, with Carolyn Tuttle Hansen and Chris Besinger, of the original Minneapolis writers’ group that gave birth to Laughing Mouse Press. Spencer’s story “An Unspeakable Vice” is featured in LMP’s Junior High Yearbook.


Geography & Circumstance
Spencer Keralis
ISBN: 978-0-9843248-2-8
56 pages, saddle-stitch

From the publisher's description:

Geography & Circumstance is the first chapbook by Spencer Keralis. The volume collects thirty poems from 1989 1o 2009. Many of the poems first appeared in distinguished small press publications like The Owen Wister Review, The Dry Crik Review of Cowboy Poetry, and Spencer’s work is not traditional “cowboy poetry” in any sense, but rather traces one westerner’s pilgrimage from rural to urban and follows the prodigal’s homecoming, swinging from boom to bust and back again.

The cover art was designed by award-winning photographer and graphic designer Michele Crail.

Find order information here at Laughing Mouse Press.






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