Monday, February 12, 2007

New Jersey and Georgia

Check out Tolu's blog. He, the MindFire African editor, won $1000 in a contest. Congrats, friend.


New states, several written to be posted over the next few weeks. Eight plus DC to go and they are coming hard, which is ok.

The index at


Poetic States XXXI – New Jersey

An American Original
for William Carlos Williams

In Seventy-Six, we slowly drove
through the Garden State
in a yellow Rabbit
past oil tanks
and urban depression,
the auto soot-black
when we stopped at a HoJo’s
south of Trenton for lunch.

It was not until twenty-five years later

I saw the importance
of chickens in the rain

peered through a window
in need of soap and swab
at plum pits picked clean

trod wild carrot beneath my feet
in the warm mud of spring

to the clack-clack
of a Patterson doctor’s typewriter

upon which we all depend


Poetic States XXXII – Georgia

Shake the Dust from Your Boots

Some long time back,
a man walked from his grandfather’s
grandfather’s forest homeland
to a forbidding land
across the Big River

Much later, a man left his father’s
houses for a world away
and hesitant, commanded
the long, hostile war
on behalf of a tired people

Men left the red dirt and cotton
to build Caddies and Fords in Detroit,
jam in Chicago and New York,
rot in Viet Nam’s rice paddies,
bottle Coke in Atlanta

Women sometimes joined them later,
children too

Forever, they remembered –
the final days of summer
ripe peaches
pecans –
red dirt that never washes away
even when you dive headlong
into the Chattahochee River


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