about the author

J. P. Vallières is from the Village of Adams. His work can be found in Grey Magazine, Whitefish Review, and North American Review.

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North Country Men 

J. P. Vallières

North Country men
are born heavy gray
clouds. They mix
to be one cloud.
They educate a
man for mayor.
Teachers take walks
in canals. Trailer homes
fill drunken clouds.
Children drink clouds
and sleep drunk.
There is no smoke.
Only water. But not
the kind you float.
Not the sort that drown. It’s
the water, the water
in your shoes. Take him
off his north land.
Watch him ring out
your mother’s mop.
Watch your garden
sink. Roots get
drunk like children.
There is no end to the
North Country man.
In your basement he’ll
sleep through winter.
He’ll bleed like cheap booze
through the cracks in the bricks.

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