Ann Arbor Review
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is an independent
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Copyright (c) 2013
Silver Grey Fox
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Broken down gray-brown
shacks, dusty dirt
roads cut flat grown
spaces with tall
trees no leaves at all.
Up-close half-empty Nehi
orange bottles. Bristle-thigh
tee-shirted man grips a .32,
trigger finger outside the guard.
Know anybody from Mississippi? I ask the museum guard.
Yes, me. She points at herself.
Like the photographs?
That's me. She points with her finger.
Three shoeless black girls in pigtails.
That's a cotton field, right?
Me picking with my sisters, could of been.
Nearest store mile an a half we go for a bottle of pop.
No toilets, lights. Picking all day, year 'round work.
My kids don't believe me.
This one photo here? Again she points.
White shelves of frosted ice frame Swanson TV dinners,
chicken pot pies, half-gallons of supermarket vanilla,
ice-cube trays with aluminum levers.
That's the refrigerator my first apartment in Memphis.
THE OLD MASTERS
maybe got it right
maybe not everybody
sees the temptations in St. Anthony's light.
But no watcher eats
or finds a window to close
or just walks along dabbing at a wet nose.
with all lush women lusting
while Dali has nudes no fiery horse exempts.
Beauty it is that
shows unseen by the musers
in the canvases of the great museums.
Seurat's the Grande Jatte
has the pipe and its smoker
just a pipe-stare at nothing not the water.
Nighthawk's black beauty
the lonesome diners ignore
lost to each other, sans hat rack, food, or door.
Suffering and strife
Hockney's collector husband
squeezes blood from the paint, hates his totem wife.
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