Even if you’re very
familiar with stories written by Erin Adair-Hodges, the Alibi
’s Arts and Literature Editor, you are probably not
familiar with her work as a poet. Guess what? Erin was the 2004-2005 Poetry Fellow at the University of Arizona where she received her MFA. Next fall, to cap off her work at the Alibi, she’ll be teaching poetry at CNM (along with her usual English courses). Erin lives in a brown house with her husband, musician Sean McCullough, and their cat and dog. She is currently working on completing a chapbook on Chekhov entitled "Having Seen the Gun, We Accept a Bloody Ending."
“The series about Anton Pavlovich Chekhov started very much as an experiment, moving away from the narrative work I had been doing. I'm also something of a Russophile, so it was a blast to immerse myself in his work and world. I've recently come back from a three-year poetry hiatus and am working on fleshing these out into a chapbook, though I don't know yet where Chekhov will take me...”
I. Where He Was Coming From
Chekhov was a sickly boy. Chekhov was stout.
Both things are true. Chekhov did not love
his father nor did he hate him. Neither holds
for mom. Young Anton Pavlovich enjoyed puns,
Greek curse words, and the audacity of birds.
Schoolmates called him Big Head. He was not considered
especially bright nor especially conceited but had
an especially large head. Big Head, Small Body.
Villagers in Taganrog wondered at the miracle
of his balance. Villagers in Taganrog barely noticed
our small Anton upon going into his father's store
for matches and tea. The smell of parafin and cheese
was overwhelming. The place was a mess. Villagers
in Taganrog more often went to his father's brother's
store. Taganrog was a small place. Taganrog was on
the Gulf of Taganrog in the Sea of Azov which in turn
flirts into the Black Sea. Taganrog sounds like a drag.
Years after he left, dear Anoshka returned for a visit.
The drabness, emptiness, lazy slothful dirtiness
of Taganrog made him long for Moscow
and its typhus. Typhus is a disease that causes severe headaches,
a rash. There is fever, dizzying, delirium. It is spread
by the tiny nicking of fleas and ticks who travel
on hairy carriages of rodents.
Chekhov's father Pavel died in Taganrog.
Anton expressed regret at not being there. He disliked him
and would have been pleased at being able to save him.
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