turnip phrase

A bit of bible,
a bit of bile,
shared ‘tween riverhick
and hillbilly,
redneck and whitetrash,
you, and me,
speaking well of crick and roof,
horse-races and bakers’ dozens
six one way, half-dozen another,
or maybe a buck a piece –
ranging wide, we find
these turnip phrases all over,
common as mustard,
pungent as dill –
throw ’em in this
bastard stewpot,
cook it up with
eastern ‘taters, southern grits,
the delicate fish from delicate shores,
the wild rushes,
the forgotten pawpaw,
and perhaps together,
something new
will grace our tongue.

Economics of Scale

My boy! How very
much you have grown, I see
you’ve wings and fangs and claws
pacific chest and atlantic arms,
so very many arms!
how have you grown
such scales like stained steels
and a mouth deeper than a Kentucky cavern
my boy! my boy! You cannot keep
growing like this,
can you?
could the world support such growth,
could you grow larger without
the world?


Nations are built on the bones of their heroes,
who rage as they’re pushed to the grave;
with shrieking,
and striking,
and choking on earth
all before the foundation is laid.

Said the man at the fore of the black-banded crowd,
“I imagine it’s lovely to die as a hero,
draped by a star-spangled shroud.”