Channeling introspective ideas surrounding temporary habitation and displacement in a diminished environment, Mark Welborn’s ‘Split Rail’ is a chapbook of many paeans to a boy’s heart aged. It is a literal wish, something marked with hand scrawled pentacles on every other page.
Here is a template for the individual. It is of a person, a passerby of sorts. And he has not seen a train go down the property line for many years. So he sets out…
This is not a boy; he’s a figure. He’s part of the countryside. He has made himself a simulacra, and while he is not a soothsayer of any kind, this is still his book of shadows.
So the two go on, the passerby and the reflection, through the Midwest, the South, their story being told to each other all the way. Two voices among no good companion, and they collide and break apart and continue traveling. They carry on to the end of their travels.