Owyhee is a collaborative manuscript written between Idaho, Hawai'i, and Mexico over the course of one year; the title is taken from the Owyhee Mountains of Idaho, which are said to be named from an alternate spelling of Hawai‘i. Poems from Owyhee have also appeared online at Country Music, Horse Less Review, Hawai‘i Review, and Alice Blue Review.
Karena Youtz is a poet living in Boise, Idaho. She is the author of the full-length poetry collection, The Transfer Tree (1913 Press, 2013).
Scott Abels is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Rambo Goes to Idaho (BlazeVOX, 2011), and a chapbook, Nebraska Fantastic (Beard of Bees, 2012). After having spent three years living and teaching in Zipolite, Oaxaca, he now lives in Honolulu, Hawai‘i where he edits the online journal of poetry Country Music.
Karena, it’s come to my attention
that the word I’ve been using for “wild”
is an awkward translation.
I spent the morning planting cantaloupe.
I discovered an entire new generation of ants to hate
in our water tank.
Yesterday, everyone’s tongue was out, Karena.
No act of god could keep us safe,
as they say,
but we still,
far as we know,
we are completely safe.
I sort of think that’s good clean Rock and Roll.
In all the world’s darkness, in every little fear,
I saw my doctor
use a Jesus hologram
as a straightedge
to underline my name on a form.
Rock Stars do tend to have better health care.
It’s true, I admit, I’m a little self
righteous about getting paid in pesos here.
Karena, the singer
for Iron Maiden
is a licensed pilot.
Iron Maiden, thank you
for the dirty night.
An entire quiver
of fancy-ass shirts
has been discredited.
Today Ben Gave Me a Stone of Magic Protection
Dear Scott, I think one can safely
go with tragedy as tragic.
A fascist movement
to grin at ants and cast
atrocities as lessons makes me vomit. I hope the seeds sprout, grow, blossom, and
Werner Herzog: "The poet must not avert [her] eyes."
When rock stars do not have health care
they do not care Possibly I could stop being neurotic
my needs are that basic
To live as a hologram physician
first be harmless
is my wish
today is my 39th birthday
underlined with sunlight
closer to earth than ever
Karena, in an ESL classroom
the standard lesson line is
why might that be funny?
Karena, many happy birthdays.
There really is nothing like fluency
and a strategy for effective telephoning.
I hope what was a small birthday
loosened into a bigger birthday,
tomorrow you will know why when you triumph.
Why might that be funny from now on.
Allow time to measure
the size of the problem of the riddle.
A ball rolls
into a street in Boise.
What happens next?
After Swine Fever
second after eternity
Scott Abels teaches an entire ESL class
timing Students will need
for the moment
it might not
a ball stop
in the street
peaceful beautiful fun
Pheasant and sturgeon
Wilderness just years
til full return
Bunch of kids in a field
near the mountains, "Lady, do you
want to be young?" of course
Karena, In Owyhee County
(no one calls it Owyhee County)
this is an old trick.
So I have a personal knife sharpener
that I put in a poem.
Oh, bitterness, I lost my father.
Lines from Virgil
pressed into neatness.
Karena, every little thing is in threes. Hawaiians
building a railroad or digging gold in Idaho
had said they thought the mountains
looked like the ones they have in Hawaii.
It’s like calling the name of a disobedient dog
and when he doesn’t come
that’s how you know it’s him.
No one actually ever said Owyhee. Now listen,
this sucks ships
will be the site
for your city.
Welcome to the Whirlpool Ball
Could Virgil press Owyhee as
a prospectors' gold city, unengineered
of potential? Or does verse have to be history? Google Fallen Troy, Aeneas
totes his father to safety
on his shoulders. Between us, Scott, we might listen to forget our tricks.
With no founders the site mishears
islands; a story where you lived
Boise. At the same time we misspell the name.
takes his son by the hand---Virgil knew
the city had to
in the style of civilization go from being---Annually, Owyhee hosts
a necessary misunderstanding
How could either of us
be bitter? Our parents were removed
and we were given
blue flowers. At night every ridge of these mountains
becomes the carrier of the moon
Scott, your mother's
wellbeing and yours