Hi there! Everyone talks about the good old days—how they used to be—what a difference from today. Remember when gas was 25¢ a gallon? And cigarettes 26¢ a box with a 1¢ tax? Wow!
Pig’s Eye Island owes its name to a nineteenth-century trader, Pig’s Eye Parrant, who sold liquor and guns along the Mississippi’s watery highway.
I grew up in the Dale-Selby neighborhood of Saint Paul. To be more exact, we lived in the upstairs of a duplex just off the corner of Dayton and St. Albans, one block from Dale and one block from Selby.
Art by Maya Rose
By Martin Devaney ● 2016
Where I first put my arm around you. Clad in red coats and autumn hats, we walked from the Farmers’ Market, bags of basil in hand, then arm in arm. The dog waited.
When I see sweet potatoes, I often think of Deborah Torraine. Deb was a community organizer in the Twin Cities. She always referred to herself as a cultural worker; she was a mentor to new and emerging artists, and the Director of Community Engagement for the Saint Paul Almanac.
Driving back from the reservation, I cross a small bridge into Saint Paul. I feel the troubled waters. I think of my grandfather’s people,the Dakota. I think of how they lived by the water, how they made fire by the water.
Jenna already has her lights up, of course. I would have mine up, too, except ever since Sam fell into the Grand Canyon, I have been a little behind on things.
Saint Paul is my chosen home, the place where I feel most deeply that I belong. Now. It has not always been so.
I'm sorry you fell Tuesday night, a little after 8 p.m. I hope you're okay. Your husband looked mighty upset when you fell.
Our Lady of Guadalupe,
leaning in the mercado window,
make intercession for the West Side.
Mystical rose of yellow, red, and blue,
protect those who journey through the corners of George, State, and Chavez streets — New Tepeyac, District del Sol.
Tonight she asks you to sleep
with her. both of you in the bed
with siderails, a plastic mattress pad
“All over (America), Negro boys and girls are growing into stunted maturity, trying desperately to find a place to stand, and the wonder is not that so many are ruined—but that so many survive!”
JAMES BALDWIN 1955