Keith Moul: Enthusiast for the Road

KEITH MOUL IMG709-1Today’s post is written by Keith Moul. We published a series of his photographs, Urban Memphis Sights, in our Spring 2015 issue, which were inspired by a road trip similar to the following.

I hate 10-hour flights. Travel by car is my recreation. All I want is room at the side of the road to turn out and take a picture or add a line to the poem I’m working on.

For the first time ever I decided to attend the AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), this year in Minneapolis. My wife and I are retired and live in Port Angeles, Washington, approximately 2000 miles away. What fun! Drive to and from Minnesota! Are you with me? Can you feel the excitement mounting?



Well, I knew some allowances would have to be made for the fact that part of Washington, part of Montana, all of North and/or South Dakota and Minnesota until Minneapolis/St. Paul consists of terrain generously described as boring. My wife would stay the first day of the conference and then fly home. We almost always enjoy going places, but the prospect of so much territory seemed kind of bleak.



I set myself an intellectual task that I hoped would help me understand why the worthy inhabitants of these states would want to live there. At once, appealing ideas came into my head: the arched roofs of pure white barns welcome worshippers to the corn; when winds subside, Minnesota lakes are again as level as train tracks; dead trees choke the marsh with brand and bark while bullfrogs bellow exuberance for ejaculation.


By the time I finished about 5000 miles in 3-plus weeks, I had the outline and a whole collection of prompt lines for a new book, tentatively to be called The Old Sincerities.

I’m back home working on it now.

About Keith Moul

38rs-Keith-Moul-Photo-by-Ianthe-MoulKeith Moul’s poems and photos are widely published. Since 2010 he’s published the following: The Grammar of Mind (2010) from Blue & Yellow Dog Press; Beautiful Agitation (2012) from Red Ochre Press; Reconsidered Light (2012) from Broken Publications; and To Take and Have Not (2014) also from Broken Publications. A 2010 poem written to accompany one of his photos, and subsequently included in Reconsidered Light, was a Pushcart nominee. Finishing Line Press will release another chap, The Future as a Picnic Lunch, in September, 2015.

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