Wednesday, June 10, 2015


old truck, red clay soil –
macon lass has more okra
‘n she knows what t’do with

humid shop ‘n macon
th’fan resettles th’dust, ‘n’ their looks
‘re from another world

ant'bellum houses,
the windsor - 'round the corner,
some guys, in the shade


th’east point kid yells ‘t th’train
don’t care if it’s been t’hartsfield,
don’t go jumpin’ here


okra ‘n’ cornmeal, fried –
th’rome lass learned from her grandma,
‘n’ they’ve kept surviving

involved in th’hustle,
walks quickly, th’streets ‘f th’old fifth ward,
blazing sun’s nothing

atlanta rappers
shared th’jail cell – in th’heat, still talk
‘bout who killed yung hott

old fourth ward hustler –
steamy ev’ning coming on,
but has ways t’raise cash

americus roads'
tar sticks - he finishes beer,
throws can out window

used to play for free,
all atlanta'd go t'the park -
brothers in summer


brookhaven mansion –
plays golf almost ev’ry day,
tends t’get sloshed at night

tales ‘f th’murder kroger
too many people came here
just t’get out of th’heat

okra and cornmeal,
and where'd you get that cook'n oil?
when in rome, she says

east point summer night -
train that came through here, he says,
first i ever jumped

gulls ‘t saint simon’s sound
turn into th’fresh breeze, away
from th’locals’ picnic

‘tlanta t’alpharetta
fam’ly’s in th’hills with th’moonshine,
that didn’t work f’r him

trapped by macon heat,
his ears ring'n with the blues, he
begins t'understand

years ago, th'underground's
bricks, the heart of atlanta -
now, respite from th'heat

drunken bulldog fans
define sportsmanship 'xactly
in streets of athens

drunken bulldog fans,
th’contents ‘f th’athens garbage can –
th’wind catches th’feeling

th’bedlam ‘f bulldog fans
fraternity house mother
surveys all th’damage

hauled f’r otis redding –
autumn fog, georgia pine woods,
he’s glad to be back

th’train rolls through east point
touch ‘f frost ‘n th’air, time t’think ‘bout
catching that southbound

th’quebecois’re stranded,
tried th’moonshine, ‘n’ passed out ‘n th’van –
frost ‘n th’georgia blue ridge

first frost – rome trucker
came over th’hill t’find kids push’n th’car,
killed half dozen ‘f ‘em

gainesville woodcutter
sells th’most po’rful kind of shine,
try’n t’get back up th’hills

near andersonville
so dry, th’possums’re out, says th’guy,
‘n’ th’deer’re too scrawny t’shoot


th’old fourth ward hustler’s
upped his game – th’cold wind came in
just as th’tourists left

rome trucker’s account –
no fear ‘f th’early frost, no regard
f’r th’value ‘f human life

near andersonville
th'hunter spits - even the deer
look hungry this year

hangs wreath, tells story
store bombing uptown, protesting

came back through hartsfield
for th'hol'days - what he missed most,
plain grits with butter


from europe t’hartsfield,
freezing rain on th’city streets,
‘n’ this’s his third bowl ‘f grits

clos'n macon diner,
clock slows n'stops at holidays -
'y'all take your time, now'

southbound van stranded -
new year toast, byron folk ne'er
heard of quebecois

from mississippi,
he fled, on foot, th’runaway kid –
ice storm ‘n atlanta

blizzard on peachtree
not wanting t’go north, th’best choice,
wash dishes ‘t th’airport

promoted to grits –
king’s birthday, they say, ‘n’ his folks’ll
be com’n through hartsfield

th’train rolls through east point
th’winter night – he hopes it goes
somewhere near peachtree

bitter wind, peachtree
got th’kid, ‘n’ they want th’yankee
t’get back on th’highway


cleveland avenue’s
icy streets – th’retired p’liceman’s
enjoying th’coffee

y'all git back up on
se'nty five north, cold or not,
don't come back, ya hear?

colors ‘f laf’yette square
th’park worker picks up th’panties
‘f th’saint pat’s revelers

andersonville ‘n march
‘possums so o’nry, they’ll dig up
th’civil war graveyards

freight train, georgia hills
red wine, thick loaf, pepper cheese -
peepers call from night

georgia blue ridge freight –
rhododendrons ‘n th’mountainsides,
then, ‘cross some river

macon magnolias
folks tend t’think th’tattooed bikers
‘ve gone against th’system

first peepers ‘n th’swamp –
this train’s left atlanta, bound
for th’georgia blue ridge

driver loves peachtree,
its blossoms, modern buildings -
hiker just wants out

sunrise on springer
rhododendrons are blooming,
‘n’ he’s ready t’walk t’maine

springer mountain flow'rs
bloom with pollen and promise
shoes oiled and ready

georgia blue ridge sun
wakens forest animals,
showers touch young blooms

leaving from springer -
fragrance of rhododendron,
hopes of reaching maine

night train from hartsfield -
scraped elbow in fragrant bush,
ways west of downtown

road from vidalia
sweet onions, and love that’d be
trouble forever

smell ‘f sweet onions ‘n th’field,
road t’vidalia – purest ‘f loves,
most entrenched ‘f taboos

mount vernon prom night
not that long ago, y’all’d be
going t’diff’rent ones

proms ‘f montg’y county,
bad coffee, ‘n’ th’yankee’s rebuke –
best be on y’all’s way

sweet smells ‘f vidalia
some folks cry cutting onions,
she cries just t’come home

reflection ‘f th’peach trees
uptown shoppers’ friendliness
has t’be genuine

gone but not f'rgotten -
d'catur girl shows her back yard's
cherokee roses


cherokee roses,
rome lass holds'm ‘n’ blushes – some things're
better left unsaid

brutal with th’pest’cides
fields ‘f plains, steamy ‘n’ productive
but don’t go play ‘n them

gardens ‘f savannah
her perfect world’s been threatened
by th’stranger at th’gate

cherokee roses
decatur lass can’t recall
th’high school hist’ry class


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