Back to Adroit Prizes. / Back to Issue Nine.
BY NATHAN DURHAM
Recipient of the 2014 Adroit Prize for Poetry
Judge: Richie Hofmann
Sunday, 9:00 pm, Elton John
serenades us down Hwy 42,
65 in a 35 through downtown.
We’re some kind of free,
and you’re crying, and the windows
are down, and you’re beautiful.
I remember eighteen years, front row
at the Baptist church, father
at the pulpit, tears in his eyes for the souls
of boys who think other boys
are beautiful. We hit 75, the road
empty, your hand shaking
the middle console. I grab it,
hold tight, and this is our song.
I don’t say anything, but you know,
and I know, and I am drowning,
but I’ve never breathed deeper.
There is oxygen in this water,
you and I in this water.
“Nathan Durham’s wonderfully heartfelt, disorienting ‘Chevrolet’ captivated me from the start. Its forward rush of syntax, the way its list accommodates both factual and emotive information, its erotic tensions, its strange reworking of the metaphor of drowning: this poem took many risks and, in an intoxicating dreamscape of love and death, offers many rewards. A deft and memorable poem.”
– Richie Hofmann, 2014 Prize Judge
Nathan Durham is a rising sophomore at Kenyon College originally from Atlanta, Georgia. His poetry has appeared in Winter Tangerine Review and Polyphony H.S. He has been involved with various charities dedicated to LGBTQ rights and literacy efforts around the world.