Author: Greg Keeler

Greg Keeler is a Montana songwriter, poet, writer, artist, humorist, and professor. He also plays the guitar, harmonica, and kazoo.

EG 4


There, sparkling at the bottom of
this mountain stream, lies the beer can.
It makes me feel new just to look at it.
Had the water not been so clear, I might
have missed it. It is hard not to think
of the foundries that smelted the aluminum,
the sheer genius it took to make it so thin,
so cylindrical. It makes me want a beer.
I wonder how much mud it holds, what kind
of life lives there? Maybe a crawdad, for
the hole in its top has been punched in
far enough for a small one to enter.
They are almost beautiful, the letters, black
on yellow, the glint of the bare bottom.

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EG 5

Hello There

I speak as an old man in the Twenty-First
Century when I want people to ignore me.
I find their cultivated dismissiveness
reassuring. It means I’ve done my job.
I had one last thing to say, and for the life
of me, I couldn’t remember what it was,
and that’s a good thing because they
don’t give a shit one way or the other.
But sometimes one will stare directly at
my face and lie, just to see what I
will do. It took me years to learn to lie
back at them, and I don’t have that many
years left. They will smile at me and say,
Hello there. They used to just say, Hello.

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EG 6

My Own Weight

I don’t have to drink to get dizzy
any more. Age does that for me now.
Once I walked across a rushing river
with a Japanese man on my back.
He was a famous fisherman who had
fished all over the world. Only now
can I imagine his terror. Here is a
haiku he might have written: The water
is fast. My horse only has two legs.
How did I get here?
These days it’s
all I can do to carry my own weight
on the perpetual carnival ride
of my daily chores. The bathtub is
an adventure in itself.

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EG 7

The Colors of the Wind

I felt pretty good about myself
when I came up with that title, but after
I googled it, I wound up not giving
much of a shit about anything, much less
the wind. Multitudes have noticed its color,
some in the glittering dewdrops at dawn,
some on the handbags of prostitutes.
It all depends on velocity and direction.
Right now it has slowed to five miles
an hour, it’s out of the northeast and it’s pink.
It’s coming right at you, it’s barely stirring
the hairs on your ears. I made all this up.
I was too lazy to google it. The wind
never had any color and never will.

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