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. 

Molly Brodak


Hill Fog

Open the atom.
in there is the good guy.
See, they fight.

In white cowboy hats.
film rips through its linen.

comes for us.
Ten generations
of cakes tumble from us.

The projector, the whole projector
flaps like laughing, no one
turns it off. Wall-clung, you love

without understanding.
It’s noble. It’s some monkey’s
dream, this peace you’ve made,
remember her, dreaming you.





The chain trailing every purpose

is purposelessness. You will hit it

if you keep asking.


copy of a book,

and troves of forgeries of silver coins

and a man and woman,


forgeries of godliness. Words for them,

forgeries. Comedy is one.

In one country how to say black was blood-is-dirty.

Also early sky, late sky, dusty, and shining-from-somewhere.

We’ve come from there; it is no longer a place.

Our morning flared like a mirror

and masses of waxwings mobbed a pear tree—

there just thin limbs laced canopies, dead silence

of the world-swamp before insects or birds. Silence 

for centuries. Only odd mosses and weeping horsetails.

I might think to go back there, under ocean.

Couched on slime, to see the stars through a mile of sea.

Truth is just always off

A home you must fit to.

And some homes have

a spot inside to build a fire.



My favorite souvenir is a goat's horn that came to me after my great grandma died. Years later I found a small piece of paper folded up inside of it with her name on it, written in her soft cursive, just her name: Zoretta.

Molly Brodak is the author of A Little Middle of the Night (University of Iowa Press, 2010) and three chapbooks of poetry. She lives in Atlanta.