Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Crucifix for DeRidder

Undiscovered Genius of the Mississippi Delta
- Jean-Michel Basquiat 1983

A Crucifix for DeRidder

"There are worst places
to be born into than
—Ahmos Zu-Bolton, 1946

he came back to me
smiling, not saying much
with all these stories inside his eyes
something peeping thru the deep
and dark outta the past

people don’t believe me
but he was already a real life
griot that way back at LSU
before he got drafted &
went off to Viet Nam

and before that—
Zu was editor of The Delta
and published some stuff
of mine not very good poetry
but it got me started

in this dream blind in one eye
stoned in the other, he was like
a punch-drunk boxer slanting
the words and still fighting
the whitey ghosts

we’d gone to bed together
back then & now he flew thru my
window like it was his job to
finally convince me to come back
to the big easy with him

but the days of copasetic books
were gone now & the ghost of
katrina still haunted the dead
vieux carré & then i woke up
with him gone from me

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