A Moment with Chris Dombrowski
Chris Dombrowki is a poet whose work I very much admire. I first met Chris when he was an undergraduate at Hope College. Jack Ridl had invited me to workshop a few poems with some of his students, and Chris was very much a star. Chris received an MFA from the University of Montana, and has worked as a river guide--Jim Harrison swears by Dombrowski's ability to put a drift boat over trout--and as a teacher of creative writing both at the University of Minnesota and at Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he served as Writer-in-Residence.
Chris Dombrowski's debut collection By Cold Water, was published this spring by Wayne State University Press, and is one of the finest first collections I've seen this year. Here's one of his poems, which originally appeared in the journal Salt Hill.
FRAGMENTS WITH DUSK IN THEM
We were taught to count kestrels on wires
like coins in our pockets. Whole years
we recalled by color: that torch-year,
tanager, fox, sandstone, sage. Droughts
revealed the river’s former ways, oars wedged
between boulders, a derailed boxcar,
conductor’s leather cap. A recluse fell in love
with certain shadows spilled across
her cellar floor, and among the east’s first stars
were the occasional words jeweling-up at dusk
with junkyards, chrome hubcaps—as mirrors
struck small skies across our bodies.