David Bottoms

(1949 / Georgia / United States)

David Bottoms
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David Bottoms (born 1949, Canton, Georgia) is an American poet.
Bottoms' first book, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, was selected by Robert Penn Warren as winner of the 1979 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared in magazines such as The Southern Review, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Harper's, The Paris Review, and Poetry, as well as in over four dozen anthologies and textbooks. He is the author of seven other books of poetry, In a U-Haul North of Damascus, Under the Vulture-Tree, Armored Hearts: Selected and New Poems, Vagrant Grace, Oglethorpe's Dream, Waltzing Through the Endtime, and We Almost Disappear as well as two novels, Any Cold ... more »

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  • Warren Falcón Warren Falcón (4/7/2014 2:06:00 PM)

    Synchronicity this a.m. when finding your poem Kelly Sleeping in my inbox via Poem-A-Day of poets.org and then open Poemhunters here and see your name on the list of just published poems on the site. Moved by the Kelly Dreaming poem I shared it on my Facebook page...and now there are all these to read and savor. The title alone of In A U-Haul North of Damascus evokes or is a poem all by itself. Happy to have discovered your work. All the best.

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Best Poem of David Bottoms

Shooting Rats At The Bibb County Dump

Loaded on beer and whiskey, we ride
to the dump in carloads
to turn our headlights across the wasted field,
freeze the startled eyes of rats against mounds of rubbish.

Shot in the head, they jump only once, lie still
like dead beer cans.
Shot in the gut or rump, they writhe and try to burrow
into garbage, hide in old truck tires,
rusty oil drums, cardboard boxes scattered across the mounds,
or else drag themselves on forelegs across our beams of light
toward the darkness at the edge of the dump.

It's the light they believe kills.
We drink and ...

Read the full of Shooting Rats At The Bibb County Dump

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