portion of the artwork for Kevin Casey's poetry

Kevin Casey’s Comments

Several of these poems have at their root some element in the narrator’s environment that’s out of place—a simple theme that’s a reliable source of writing inspiration for myself. In the case of “Abandoned Bicycle,” I was bothered by the lingering presence of a bike near my rural home, and this poem was an attempt to understand why this disturbed me.

With “Snowmobiling at Midnight,” it was again that feeling of dislocation—in this case being out so late at night, traveling so quickly, being in the middle of the woods—culminating with the spectacle of the brightly lit grooming machine that moved the whole incident to an almost otherworldly level.

In a similar way, finding snow in May is a rare enough event in this part of the world to share this with my dear sister on her birthday (in the form of a wee snowman, and then this poem), and I attempted to reinforce the uniqueness of this by setting up additional dichotomies: mountain/valley, brother/sister, whole/divided, winter/spring, etc.

The poems “Poverty” and “Clearing His Throat” are similar in that I took a basic premise familiar to me and carried this past my own experience and into a fictional place. With “Poverty”—while I do know what it’s like to be poor and young—I simply took that idea to a fictional extreme. And with “Clearing His Throat,” while my sister had really said that my cough and my father’s were similar, he is still alive, doesn’t smoke, and we actually get along quite well. So, although that poem seems like I’m confessing some familial dirt, the poem is almost wholly fictive (shhh …).

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 50 | Fall/Winter 2017