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Joe Pell

by Mark Gibbons

Raven struts
Down the sidewalk

The air

Shakes its
Tuxedo tail

Dips to clean
The cement

Caws to another
Combing the grass

The plaza

They dance
The Caw-ca-doodle-doo

Tango like

Crow sisters

Waddle bumping
Big breasts

In a hornpipe
Dead heat

For some sticky
Big Hunk


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Credit Foothills Publishing

In 1970, Mark was in a poetry workshop at his high school taught by an unknown Indian poet, James Welch.  A student of Richard Hugo’s, (Sir James) Welch (acclaimed author of Fool’s Crow, Winter  in the Blood, The Death of Jim Loney, and Killing Custer) gave Mark permission to write poetry in his own voice from his own life experiences.  He’s been writing ever since.  His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.  His first chapbook of poems, Something Inside Us, was self published in 1995, and a second, Circling Home, won the Scattered Cairns Press chapbook competition in 1999.  Connemara Moonshine, the first full length collection of his poetry, was published in 2002 by Camphorweed Press, followed by blue horizon in 2007 from Two Dogs Press.  War, Madness, & Love, a collaborative collection of poems with Appalachian poet Michael Revere appeared in 2008, R & R Publishing.  Mauvaises Herbes (Weeds), a bilingual translation of his poems into French, was published in 2009 by PROPOS2 editions, France.  His latest collection, Forgotten Dreams, from Foothills Publishing, 2012, also features the portrait photography of Lee Nye.

Mark established Blind Horses Press in 2011 and is currently working on editing and publishing a collection of six poets.  He lives in Missoula with his wife, Pam, and their two cats, where he teaches poetry for The Missoula Writing Collaborative, The Montana Arts Council, and The 406 Writers’ Workshop.

"Sweetness" was published in Gibbons' 2012 Forgotten Dreams.

Chérie Newman is a former arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. She founded and previously hosted a weekly literary program, The Write Question, which continues to air on several public radio stations; it is also available online at and
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