Throw Down Your Mattock Blinking by Allen Blair


Throw Down Your Mattock Blinking

funny, how the internet’s more permanent
than a coal camp,
a town that can be erased when
the company switches off lights, and
the street you grew up on
just gone?
dad never says it like that,
but you can tell he thinks it
the more he talks about it
from his porch swing cushion
the houses, the many houses,
all in rows and occupied by
pickers, shovelers, foremen, wives,
drillers, blasters, mechanics, children,
friends, and you wonder
is it all half-remembered to him?
when you can’t go back, to point
at houses where they gave you big tips
when passing the newspaper, or that
old dirt road you used to take
over the hill on bikes to school
or the pit you dug, with the neighbor’s
mattock, pretending to mine for diamonds,
anything better than the dirty rocks
there, up a holler found only
on the internet now,
a place still on maps, its mouth still
opening up to the state road,
where they’ll never let you through
the company gate again

Out of stock



A collection of poetry by Allen Blair


Editor: Christopher McCurry

Cover Design: Ron Davis

Cover Artist: Ron Davis


ISBN: 978-1-948775-20-5

Softcover, matte

5.5″ x 8.5″


Allen Blair is a lifelong Kentuckian, writer, and journalist. After graduating from EKU, he worked as a reporter, photographer, and editor for community newspapers across his native eastern Kentucky before joining the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s communications staff. Although he’s been published for more than thirty years, this is his first collection of creative work to be printed.

Allen and his family make their home in Mt. Sterling, Ky. He’s a past president of the Gateway Regional Arts Center where he edits a zine called “The Uncommon Grackle” as a free outlet for Appalachian writers. He’s a certified Community Scholar of folklore, and enjoys photography, playing mountain dulcimer, and science fiction. He can be followed on most social media @thetinpoet.


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