Moonshine Narratives / Scott T. Hutchison


poems by

Scott T. Hutchison

ISBN: 978-1-59948-709-0, 112 pages, $15

Release Date:  February 19, 2019


Scott T. Hutchison grew up in Virginia on his family’s small thoroughbred racehorse farm. He worked for sixteen years at a nearby commercial thoroughbred farm handling different aspects of the horse industry. He currently lives in the Lakes Region/Belknap Mountains of New Hampshire. He served as State Director for the New Hampshire Young Writers’ Conference for thirteen years, and has taught at the New England Young Writers’ Conference held at Bread Loaf/Middlebury College each May. Moonshine Narratives is his second book of poetry.

If you’ve ever wondered what kinds of sad and crazy bees fill the heads of boys early in life Scott Hutchison has the x-rays for you. Jam-packed with poems as carefully made as they are mischievous, Moonshine Narratives rips and rolls with poignant, wild-ass energy. For most of us who landed in this world as boys, there’s no way to read this book without wanting to run back through time and wrassel somebody. ~Tim Seibles


Hutchison doesn’t so much write as throw fire and Moonshine Narratives is chock-full of white-hot images and bright, flickering moments coming at you at high speed, one after the other. And this collection couldn’t have a more apt title as every poem feels like the best kind of campfire story, one that’s touched by moonlight and tipsy on a sip or three of the good stuff. An addicting, inspiring, rollicking good time from start to finish. ~Ian McCulloch

Lend Me Some Moonshine


Just let me borrow a beautiful drop
of that soft fire, that blaze whisper
inducement for speaking
the Almighty’s name–
such assistance driving
the old ghosts skittering
for the dark corners deep
in the night-rooky wood.

All I need is a taste
of tranquility dispersed
like the smile-muted laughter
of full-throated
creek water, a steadiness
surrounded by stars–
a chariot confidence
smoothing out the glare of day
spinning along with delicate
bare-touch and comfort,
illumination from a distance
far above the hard earth.

I’ll pay you back, you know
I’m good for it. That old shimmer
sighs and with a wild kindness
brightens up the shadow paths.
Join me. We can both fight back
the grey clouds and weave our way
once again to this same place, tomorrow,
play children’s games, recall
our innocent past. With a little shine
we can change, become half,
quarter, a bright sliver
of what we were.



Uncle Roy


When he mutely shook me awake, I realized my favorite relative
had scrabbled up the big oak, stolen in through my window.
Ghostly in the night-light glow, he put a crooked finger to his lips,
winked, hugged me, grabbed at my eight-year-old hand.

He buccaneered my brand-new birthday toy pistol on the way out of
my sad little room. We tip-toed into where Mama—his sister—was sleeping.
Laid the gun safely next to her, then he leaned over, touched her hair.
Smiled, and leaving he paused at the door only a second, blew a kiss.

He riffled the fridge, scarfing two pieces of Mama’s famous fried chicken.
Mouth full he couldn’t talk, but Uncle Roy made noises of appreciation,
umms and ohhs aplenty. He lovingly studied and washed the old
rose-patterned plate he’d used, then we furtively skated outside.

My uncle spoke. Want your present? Pointed at our house. The maple trees.
The moon. Stars. My bike. Patted the dog, who wagged. Nodded, gripping
my shoulder. Mama had explained his absence: on the run from county jail.
Uncle Roy breathed deep, warbled Hallelujah! and vanished over the fence.



Boy with a Slingshot


Gift to an eight-year-old: the pull
something taut, a hard muscular tug
for launching projectiles, aimed
between a wooden peace sign.
First shot: a solid thunk into wide oak trunk
with a round rock. Within the hour a plunk
of rusty tin can off the top of a fencepost
with a sharp-edged piece of white quartz,
confidence and hawkeye sharpening.
The grey-bearded giver gravely proffered,
asserting it’s a toy every boy should have.
A compressed aluminum can contains enough mass
to shatter window glass in the abandoned
murder scene house, allowing wind
to blow the red fade and raggedness
of weeping curtains, shards raining down
on an old dirty rug. The boy feels the power,
stalks the landscape, consumed with the hunt.
The grey-beard sits on the porch, pats at his chest,
a touch for what’s darkly concealed, nods
knowing the boy will come home changed
after dusk. A ball bearing. A song bird.
Something taut. A hard muscular tug.





Lookit me–gotta daredevil girl
riding on my handlebars, holding down her
rose-colored sun skirt and holding on
hands bumping up against mine clutching
the grips, her hair
black as an Oreo cookie and
smelling like a chocolate doughnut
curls kissing my face like
evening wind after
a hot summer day

Maybe we’re Schwinning for the river
to misbehave
chawking rocks at frogs and fishies
and the swells
of the rising water

Maybe I’ll steer us toward
the Big Moo Moo ice cream stand
ready to let loose on my sweaty
savings of lawn mowing money
for double scoops of whatever she wants

We might short-cut through
Pine Grove Cemetery
and bounce ourselves over the humps
way beyond caring about
the laughter and looseness
and what my Mamma scolds
as imprudence and recklessness
in young people nowadays

All I really know about
two seconds from now
is it’s gonna be better
than any blister and bluster
that came in
three seconds ago
and the I-didn’t-really-know-nothin’-time
that came before all that–
the only advice I can hear
is this thorny flower yelling faster!
and my heart plum-damn listening
with a mighty and happy ache
girl-perfume petalling all around me

So lookit Boys, lookit Daddy, lookit
all you old Gramps
on your slow-rocking porches—
I gotta girl
on my handlebars
pointing her mischief
this way and that
and Lordy
I’m on my way

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