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Green Day

Jul. 20, 2014
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The string bean white kid

head bobs to Green Day

in the cab of the combine.


Corn dust rises and floats

over the interstate, a gold

horizon. He'll never admit


to loving this band, since

he's pretty sure they're over,

but the blur of chords


and the repetition, the drive

of the once cool singer

before he went blond and political


is like the John Deere itself

hammered down, the fuzz

of dust over the rented land,


and the girl his heart races to

at school, who'll go to college,

he knows, and learn the names


of bands too real to record,

too cutting edge to even form.

He cranks the volume louder.


He's pretty sure he's losing

his hearing, but wants to feel

the bones vibrate, his skull


expand, as he swings the chute

and lets it blast, and chops

the world he knows to silage.



Max Garland is a former rural letter carrier and author of The Postal Confessions, winner of the Juniper Prize, and Hunger Wide as Heaven, which won the Cleveland State Poetry Center Open Competition, as well as a chapbook Apparition. His work has appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, Best American Short Stories, and other journals and anthologies. He has received a NEA Fellowship for Poetry,  Michener Fiction Fellowship, a Bush Literary Fellowship, the Tara Short Fiction Prize, and fellowships from the Wisconsin Arts Board in both poetry and fiction. He lives and teaches in Eau Claire, and is the Poet Laureate of Wisconsin.




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