Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mississippi


th’river bends ‘t natchez
it makes sense th’mound people’d know
this fine summer breeze
(12-15)





cliffs above natchez
evidence ‘f th’ancient people,
and th’tears on her dust-streaked face
(10-17)





road t’escatawpa
down on ten, he sees th’world, now
back t’his steamy town
(12-16)





dusty hardware store –
somewhere south ‘f jackson, got lost,
th’fan seems t’be broken
(3-17)





kudzu in mirror,
enough mint tea, y'all come back -
yazoo city still
(10-08)





yazoo city law -
through crack in tinted window,
a sweltering heat
(4-10)







up on th’new state of jones –
th’laurel backer likes t’recruit
f’r th’loblolly fest’val
(11-17)





tylertown sawmill –
brought in a bit of lumber,
‘fore it all burned down
(11-17)



desoto campfire -
stories of small-town picnics
and not fitting in
(3-10)





folks talk civil war -
old stouts steamboat captain talks
summers on th'river
(12-13)






watching th'perseids -
vicksburg girl can't imagine
marryin' a yankee
(12-13)





‘bove vicksburg, th’perseids
she shows th’southern charm ‘n’ grace
‘n’ don’t know from grammar
(11-17)




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camping ‘n th’desoto
sales ‘n th’redneck riviera,
he says, ‘re pickin’ up
(11-17)





westbound on twenty -
barbecue on pack canvas,
old bridge souvenir
(12-13)






westbound at old bridge
just ‘cause you got used t’th’kudzu,
don’t mean you liked it
(11-16)







barb’cue by th’old bridge
westbound on twenty, ‘n’ it’s hot,
‘n’ you can’t take’t with you
(2-17)


 

bar’n bay saint louis
carpets’re wet ‘n’ smelly, even
before they’re flooded
(9-17)







she tells how camille
filled bay saint louis with mud
couple summers back
(8-16)






hip waders ‘n gulfport
remembers th’year ‘f katrina,
‘n’ how hard it was t’eat
(8-17)








fifty ford, duck hill
wrong fuel’s all, says th’kid in th’bed,
he’ll sell’t cheap, for sure
(11-16)







august rains ‘n jackson
th’lunch counter coffee’s gone bad,
th’right t’sit there’s th’issue
(5-17)







holed up in jackson
labor day hurricane blues
cot springs on off beat
(9-08)







labor day hurr’cane –
jackson man shares th’cig’rette butt,
his only p’ssession
(11-16)







fifty ford t’duck hill
this year, no harvest t’speak of,
makes do by fixin’ stuff
(12-15)





antebellum house,
th’paint’s faded – oxford ‘n’ th’football
gone on without it
(1-17)




ole miss linebacker
spits his aggression and scorn
on faulkner's sidewalks
(11-13)







got no use f’r faulkner,

she dropped th’hard english class

t’cheer f’r ole miss football
(8-15)








ole miss stars, says th’lass,

n’th’girls who adore them – their own

yoknapatawpha
(8-15)








oxford’s ant’bellums

have faded – th’pom poms, she says,

just part of the show
(8-15) 






ole miss football night –
full ‘f themselves, they throw their trash
in th’yards ‘f th’ant’bellums
(11-17)







most lib’ral guy ‘n tate
just got ‘lected – knows by heart
th’civil war battles
(3-16)






won th’tate election
whole county knows ‘bout th’garage
‘n’ th’confederate shrine
(2-17)






off th’road in greenwood
th’only thing we’ve got in common,
th’possibility ‘f snow
(11-16)









woke in tombigbee,
red clay bed, pine for blanket,
campfire for coffee
(10-08)







home from th'war, killed here,
old cemetery road 'n' confed'rate -
ain't used t'ice 'n these parts
(12-13)









he skidded on th’ice,
old cem’tery ‘n’ confed’rate
swears she saw his ghost
(11-16)







deserted crossroads,
limited fame, yours and mine -
we toast the new year
(10-08)



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pops th’bottle ‘f champagne
here’s t’whatever deal they made
‘t these bluesmen’s crossroads(11-17)






downtown they’re drinking –
he’s through b’loxi ‘t carnival
‘thout spending money
(9-16)







carnival ‘t b’loxi
took a beating at th’big one,
now he stays in town
(10-17)







magnolia exit –
th’young folks hitch from th'mardi gras,
but no one goes north
(11-16)








desoto campfire
smokes wood wet from march drizzle,
better'n any cologne
(10-08)






natchez trace roadside
aroma - unknown blossoms,
or maybe old ghosts?
(7-05)






laurel laundr'mat door -
dryer steam at back, he stops,
baptized by spring rain
(1-13)




girl scouts - tup'lo's finest,
most sincere of mall merchants
selling do-si-dos
(1-13)






th’kid ‘n’ th’girl scout cookies,
seems time’s stopped in tupelo
she loves th’do-si-dos
(2-17)








hears th’tirade ‘f tax law
requests – laurel clerk smiles ‘n’ says
“fahn thank you how’re you?”
(2-16)



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stouts steamboat captain –
plenty ‘f water now, he says,
you should see it ‘n th’fall
(11-17)





wisteria climbs th’porch –
jackson lass, nostalgic ‘bout
th’way things used to be
(6-16)




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wisteria ‘n th’ev’ning –
raised ‘n jackson back in th’fifties,
‘n’ things were diff’rent then
(10-17)






red clay laurel soil –
not th’best place t’plant th’seeds, but
not good t’keep’m either
(11-16)







up on th’natchez trace,
redbuds in their full glory –
what are you hiding?
(4-16)






itta bena spring -
too many days, waiting for work,
but hope is in th'air
(12-14)







hattiesburg wedding –
even in th’luscious garden,
th’awkward question ‘f race
(7-17)

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