December 16, 2003

We drove through the delta in a black Cadillac

Tale
- - by Frank Stanford

The maid used to pull the drapes
So I could see dust

When it didn't rain
I bought gum and worked in the boat
There was a locked up shack down the road
With a stack of records in the bedroom

We could tell when strangers were around
From what they drank

The girls waited in the orchards
There was no need to lie

Linger
- - by Frank Stanford

The moon wanders through my barn
Like a widow heading for the county seat

It's not dark here yet
I'm just waiting for the bow hunters
So I can run them off

They put out licks on my land
Every summer

When it gets cool the animals are tame

I've fallen asleep
In the trees before

I dreamed someone's horse
Had wandered out on the football field
To graze
And I was showing children through a museum

The bow hunters make their boys
Pull the deer's tongue out bare-handed

At dusk when I hear an arrow
Coming through my field like a bird
I wonder what men have learned
From feathers

The animals wade the creek
And eat blackberries
The wind blows through the trees
Like a woman on a raft

Sudden Opera
-- by Frank Stanford
In Arkansas the liquor costs
The wind lifts a finger
And that is all

You look over your shoulder
When you have a chance
Your bottle is empty

If I could go somewhere
I would go
where the music doesn't have knuckles
And the dancers don't wear boots

I'll never leave here
The creeks are so cold and solo

My tie-rack is a convent
The pool hall is closed







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