The Night Word • Vanishing Point • Tools Childhood Memories of Sulphur Springs, Ohio The Politics of Hurricanes • Bigfoot Crossing New World Order • The Loaded Violin Escape Artist • Elemental • Test Drive • Directions One Day • The End of Winter • Afraid of Heaven Nocturne • Choice Words • Vespers
When Kip Knott was six years old, his father, he says, “a very serious and guarded man,” accidentally cut off part of his own big toe with the lawn mower. Doctors grafted skin from his father’s thigh over the wound, but the unfortunate side-effect was that hair began to grow from the tip of his father’s toe. In an attempt to cheer his father up, Kip wrote his first poem, “The Hairy Toe,” which was about a hairy toe that ran away from its foot after being teased by all the other “normal” toes. Kip’s father’s laughter as he read the poem taught him that words have the power to break through any barrier. Since writing that first poem nearly five decades ago, Kip has had poems published in dozens of literary magazines and in three other chapbooks: The Weight of Smoke (Bottom Dog Press), Whisper Gallery (Mudlark), and Everyday Elegies (Pudding House).
Acknowledgments: “Childhood Memories of Sulphur Springs, Ohio” and “The End of Winter” previously appeared in 2River View, “Elemental” in 5Trope, and “The Loaded Violin” in Dogzplot. The last four lines of “The Night Word” can be found in Four and Twenty under the title “This Poem.” The cover photograph for Afraid of Heaven is one of the poet’s own. He came across the cemetery in it, he says, “while hunting for morel mushrooms a few years ago in Perry County Ohio.”