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Bookmobile in Eugene, Oregon

by Elena Johnson

The man who tells me not to go looking  for the latest map  of where the trains
stop to change crews – because I’d be putting into jeopardy the well-being and
whereabouts  of  fugitives  who  need  to hop  trains  to  survive – tells  me he’s
written a book about his own travels. In the  book, he describes how he stalked
and caught a wild boar and  roasted it  over a  fire. He  includes a  diagram that
illustrates how to cut  up  a  boar  once  you’ve  killed  one, and where  to insert
your stabbing stick:  between  the  front  leg  and  the  upper  rib, aiming for the

Elena Johnson

About Elena Johnson

Elena Johnson is the author of Field Notes for the Alpine Tundra (Gaspereau, 2015), a collection of poems set at a remote ecology research station in the Yukon. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies across Canada, including Best Canadian Poetry, and shortlisted for the Alfred G. Bailey Prize. She is an editor of Watch Your Head: Writers and Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis (Coach House, 2020). She lives in Vancouver, BC, on unceded Coast Salish territory. The French translation of her book, Notes de terrain pour la toundra alpine (tr. Luba Markovskaia), was published by Jardins de givre in 2021. For her book, click here.

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.