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The Choctaw Ridge 50

A Southern Gothic Mixtape

Here's something I worked up for my South class at Centre, an outline sketch of some roots and branches. Even though books and movies have held the big flags for Southern Gothic over the years,…

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Grits and Redeye Gravy

I must've been about five. This was small-town Kentucky, 1958, and my dad was letting me tag along to Saturday breakfast. He'd meet up with his pals and they'd shoot the breeze over sausage, hash browns, country ham, fried pies,…
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Shall Be Released / Notes on BONES

I dreamed my friends staged an intervention. Enough is enough, they said, and then they ripped the song mixes from my hands, put them in an envelope, and wrote FINISHED across the seal.   When I woke up,…
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A Certain Slant of Light

To: The Lucas List and All Our Inmate Friends

Salutations from the dark heart of winter. Are you about to lose your mind in the light-starved frozen woe of it all? You are not forgotten. Because here's a…
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Notes on DUST

DUST. Dust of Eden, dust motes in a movie-projector beam, dust to dust. The word just kept showing up. There's a legend that when Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise some loose grit blew into the outer darkness. If…

Theodore O'Hara RIP

      He was on a plaque outside the Danville courthouse. That was the first I heard of him. The usual bronze recitation that leaves little impression:  native son, born 18-something, lawyer, etc. Another politician, I figured. But then some words that…
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Some Old Friends

People ask me what kind of lyric I like. This kind. Where the words are veiny. Cut them, they'd bleed. Items are in no particular order, though some hammered steel from St. Townes will more than do for a start.…