Monday, 6 June 2016

Jelly Roll by Kevin Young (Knopf, 2003)

Some favourite passages:

If only I'd read

the moss on the tree!
instead of shaking

it for fruit--

from "Cakewalk"

You burn me
at both ends, send

the geese bumping
within my skin.

end of "Jitterbug"

Your bordeaux dress

uncorked, let's
breathe awhile

from "Boogaloo"

...your noisy

O the brass of your body!

sliding, trombone-

from "Break"

O the far-flung
morning, a moon

still among it!

from "Calypso"

Lady, you are my Mobile,
Alabama--lowdown & too hot

for human habitat--

opening of "Ramble"

Drive until sun stares
me down. Radio & the cicadas

with their static wings--
I am singing

to myself again.

opening of "Saxophone Solo"

Tonight even the storm

cannot calm me.

from "Slide Guitar"

Outside azaleas bloom loud
& red like ambulances

rushing to save someone
or at least try.


Lights out--
we navigate

the colding house,
feel for matchbooks

which you save
to bring light, I

to remember where
I been.


Ice turns even
the trees heavy

& helpless, all
morning falling--

a song of breaking--
winter & plunder.

from "Pastorale"

...take down

the tarnished stars, my breath
will shine them up new. 

from "Cotillion"

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