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Bernard Quetchenbach
Everything As
It Happens

 Bernard Quetchenbach is from Rochester, New York, on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Genesee River. He lives in Billings, Montana, and teaches in the English and Philosophy Department at Montana State University-Billings.  He is the author of Back from the Far Field: American Nature Poetry in the Late Twentieth Century, published by the University Press of Virginia, and a poetry chapbook, The Hermit's Act, from Finishing Line Press. He edited The River Review/La Revue rivière and is co-editor of Lake Hollingsworth: Reflections and Studies on a Florida Landmark, published by The History Press.  His poems, essays, and articles have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies.  His essay "Canadas," which appeared in Ascent, was selected as a "Notable Essay of 2005" in Best American Essays 2006.



When That Time Comes     
The Gray Lake     
Rochester Harbor     
Braddock's Bay     
Up in Maine     
Bas Saint-Laurent     
The Northern Summer     
Acid Rain     
Moving to Marshland     


Emigration and Return     
The Shrine     
The Motel Next to the Mill     
Work Poem     
Mud Bugs (Louisiana)     
Passing a Town     
Field's Landing     
Blue Lake     
The Toothless Man     
A Walk     


Fugitive's Way     
The Cicada Killer     
The Life-Size Devil     
Autumn Poem     
Fish and Wildlife Area     
After The Drought     
Hank Williams                         
The Country-Western Opry House of
   Alamo, Indiana                    


A Brief History                         
The Prairie                         
Mormon Trail                         
McCullough Peaks                    
Fossil Hunting                         
Clark's Fork Canyon                    
The Lava Road                         
Late One Night in Heavy Weather, a Literary
   Critic, Afraid of Flying, Gets Tired Rehearsing
   His Paper Aboard the San Francisco Zephyr     


You Left                              
Selling the House                    
The Passing                         
Island Story                         
The Pacific                         
Nick of Time                         
Indian Lake                         



From the book:

When That Time Comes

   And if you find
day-lilies, and under morning glories,
a bird, thought extinct, living
by its wits, or a stone
balanced on a stone . . .

You could stop breathing
   just like that-

   In the moment
between the leaves . . .

You try to lock
   everything as it happens,
   lists, photographs, your life
   a ball in your fist.

   Someone who looks like you
kicking dust, a country road.
Day-lilies.  Hands
working through vines . . .

Or did he pass
   into the trees without a sound?

Up in Maine

The sea is sly around the rocks,
always behind the islands,
hiding in bays, in fog and rain,
a sudden jet in a cleft of granite.
It slips over stones waved by glaciers,
slaps at bell buoys,
shrugs the rise and fall of eiders.

Like a jellyfish stunned in a pool,
a shard ripped from a trap float,
trapped itself, speared and released
by seapulse sharp in a fracture,   
glances urchin spikes
between the crabs' sunken gravity
and the moon's long glide.

The Passing

Our best guess is that
it is ending
for us, folding from us
like wings,
the long passage over water.

warblers pattern the willows,
a musical drizzle
through the night air;
landfall bristles in fossil buds.

What's left is always
a fragment.  A few
cowbirds stalk the hedge
in search of unwary nests.

Everything As It Happens
is a 92 page hand-sewn book with spine - $16.00



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