wrapped around the world
and held it tight,
close to her bosom,
close to her heartbeat.
Grandma’s brown arms
knew just how tight
and when to let go.
Because the vistas end in arches that do not change And the grillwork of sails forecasts a season of palms The dove holds a steady hover over the crossroads of death My heart beats erratically I have been afraid of harsh words of hounds quarrying the cat of my aging....
JAMES BALDWIN 1955
Free of wrinkles despite
that they were not then
My father’s parents
looked so in love
at a time in the 1930s
In praise of passengers jostling for a seat
In praise of a transfer I didn’t need to buy
In praise of snow falling from the sky, and my down coat
Bought secondhand but warm
I watch you pull husky potatoes from the earth.
You roll them in your palms and scuff the dirt from their bulging eyes and moony grins.
Here’s Mister Potato Head!
Dylan, Spider John, and the Purple Onion by Bob Scroggins I got to know Saint Paul and I got to know Bob Dylan because I got to know Bill Danielson. Bill owned the Pink Pizza Shack at Hiawatha and Lake in Minneapolis. In 1957 it was a hangout for me and my friends....
the sky turned suddenly jaundiced,
a weighted stillness, not quite your own, descended, and even the black pine
and birch hovered motionless
in a calm that bore no calm at all.
when we were kids, we stood
on the front seat of the Chevy Impala—no seat belts to hold us back,
our mother’s arm the only thing between us and the dashboard
(her Ojibway quarters, her German half-heart)
she’ll find the existence of harpies easy
I can get up quickly, if need be, possibly never return.
You stay here with the morning sun dripping on your forehead.
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