Better Things, Rebekah Chamberlain



If I said that our conversations
have something to do
with the way the creosote bush ravels
itself into the barbed wire
and around the sun-warped timbers
of a cattle fence, would you know
what I meant? Would the expression bring
to light just the wire-rust in its color or feel,
pulled out from the grass, the blossoms, the tumbleweed
shootout in that movie we watched once about the Old West?
Could you really disregard the cows?
The animal habits that always graze in the distance.
The map I gave you dragged along its own mystery
so that now all day you think not just about where you are
but also about cartography.
A tuft of hair caught in a barb soughs with the wind.


About the Author

Neil VanLandingham, Rice University

Neil VanLandingham is a senior studying philosophy and literature, specializing in 20th-century phenomenology and literary theory. He remains convinced that the predominance of the sciences conceals the forgetting of authentic thinking and that poetry offers a more fitting measure than empirical analysis for appraising the significance of one’s existence. His greatest fear is the ever threatening possibility of self-deception.

About the Artist

Rebekah Chamberlain, University of Connecticut

Rebekah Chamberlain is a junior studying photography at UConn’s School of Fine Arts. Already published in a local literary magazine, Rebekah says her work is inspired most by her understanding of childhood innocence and youthful curiosity, along with the beauty and complexity of the natural world.

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