A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Christopher Gaumer


Me You Time Travel



In school I raised my hand 

and heard a dead man’s voice.

The bell rang. 


That night, I woke

to lightning. Which dropped a city flat.

I became the color of iron. 


December November Halloween.

Along a stream without fish,

lay a body full of crows. 


The body was love reduced to god

metaphors. The flesh picked apart.

Seven days of rain. 


The body wanted circles,

So I tossed Missouri stones.

The water dipped, peaked, flattened.


I called a girl to come out 

for very good reasons I said. 

She made the trip, packed lunch.


We took the what’s left part 

of the body and buried it. 

We promised to see each other 


for good reasons. That night, her wipers

smeared rain across the windshield.

December. January. February.


I have a postcard (circa 2008) that depicts the snowy Minnesota campus where I received my MFA. The tagline reads, “You study. We’ll shovel.” At first, this represented every idyllic reason to MFA in MN -  big old brownstone buildings covered in ice, and me, huddled inside, writing. But by the time I’d finished two years later nursing a severe case of cabin fever, the card represented every reason to get the hell out and drive south. It is now framed on my desk.

Christopher Gaumer's creative writing is forthcoming from or has appeared in Iodine Poetry Journal, Potluck Magazine, McSweeney's, The Rumpus, Belleville Park Pages, and more. He earned an MFA from Hamline University. Born in Iowa, he now resides in Virginia where he is faculty at Central Virginia Community College and curator of the non-profit, The Poetry Group.