A Poem by John Walser: Chronoscope 181: And that spot

Last week, I mentioned that as the day grow longer, time seems to slow down a bit. I tend to take advantage of the longer days by going for long rides in the North Dakota countryside. Invariably these rides lead to the places described in this poem. 

John Walser’s Chronoscope series of poems have appeared in many literary journals over the past couple of years and I read them with enthusiasm. “Chronoscope 181” captures a moment when time has slowed enough that the past and the present blur and each refracts through the other to create a new brilliance. 

As you likely know, these days are particularly challenging for many cultural institutions, publishers, and little magazines. So even if NDQ doesn’t float your boat, If you can, consider buying a book from a small presssubscribing to a literary journal (like our UNP stablemate, Hotel Amerika), or otherwise supporting the arts.

Chronoscope 181: And that spot

where I have to slow down:
just a little:

because five clapboard houses:
and a grain elevator and:
an unlighted beer bar sign:
and what was probably once
both a diner and a gas station:

but is now only chest-high weeds
in a brilliance of giving back.


John Walser’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including SpillwayWater-Stone and december magazine.  His manuscript Edgewood Orchard Galleries has been a finalist for the Autumn House Press Prize and the Ballard Spahr Prize as well as a semifinalist for the Philip Levine Prize and the Crab Orchard Series First Book Award.  An English professor at Marian University-Wisconsin, John is a four-time semifinalist for the Neruda Prize. 

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