If you’re not impressed at first,
Don’t sweat it overly much.
It’s often said that our best scenery is nowhere
Near the ground.
Start slow. No one’ll blame you.
Go drag Main
In a rusted-out car at 2 AM.
Eat fish sandwiches from their soggy wrappers
With no-good tartar sauce;
Throw clove cigarette butts into the street.
Walk our dirt roads because you can;
Search for ruby slippers
Because outsiders say you’ll find them here.
Take in the wagon-wheel mailboxes,
The darkly inviting salt mines.
Throw your lines into the air.
Fish kites and vultures
From a deeply important, endless sky.
Bio: Tyler Sheldon is the Press Manager for Flint Hills Review, and is a Creative Writing student at Emporia State University. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Tulgey Wood, Quivira, Periphery, Thorny Locust, eleven to seven, I-70 Review, Coal City Review, The Dos Passos Review, and 150 Kansas Poems, and is also featured in the anthology To The Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices (a 2012 Kansas Notable Book). Sheldon’s poetry has been nominated for the AWP Intro Journals Award, and has been featured on Kansas Public Radio.
– August Guest Editor: William J. Karnowski is the author of seven books of poetry; Pushing the Chain, The Hills of Laclede, Painting the Train, Hardtails and Highways, Catching the Rain, Dispensation, and The Sodhouse Green. He has poetry published in Kansas Voices, The Midwest Quarterly, Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, Kansas Author Club Yearbooks and multiple website locations. Karnowski is the current State President of Kansas Authors Club.
One thought on “It’s Only Kansas by Tyler Sheldon”
I love the imagery you use in this poem, especially since you capture the attitudes I often get from people who haven’t been here or spent much time here. I really like the first stanza and the last line.