Stories From Stills

Stories From Stills presents images from twentieth century daily life in a northern Minnesota town illuminated by descriptive prose and poetry. Stories In Stills explores the distances between memory and time. This collection will culminate in a creative non-fiction manuscript using the images and stories from this place.


John Rohr At Typewriter


Meanings ebb outward in translucent thread-like waves, interweaving in thought against a dim light in a small gray storeroom in my mind. It shows me what I need to see. It’s space is silent where shadows cascade velvety off the edges of a simple wooden chair. A small box to prop feet upon. A desk. An office space with a large window beside. He sits attentive, but breaks from his typewriter, waving to everyone that passes on the sidewalk. Air full of post-war distillates, a metal horizontal blind to adjust privacy, a marvel of machinery; golden with the Space Age.

The Dam

I stand on the spillway of the dam
Tipping drunkenly on the memory
Of the place

I listen to the water and hear
voices snapping on wet air
Afraid I’ll fall in

Spinning In the undertow the hum
Of water fills my ears with murmurs
Please don’t tell me your secrets

Daily Living

I never liked you, Grackles
I try to love your oily
Heads shining greasily with
Metallic heat and color
Your song a command to
Carry like noisy thieves that
Rattle riches from your gullets
My seeds and beneficial
Insects from my soiled hand
Are never where I leave them

Words can build or destroy. Our words are the legacies we choose.