"Poem for My Daughter Disparaging the Gossamer Depictions of the Women of Certain Southern Texts"

"Poem for My Daughter Disparaging the Gossamer Depictions of the Women of Certain Southern Texts"

"Poem for My Daughter Disparaging the Gossamer Depictions of the Women of Certain Southern Texts"

Arts has moved! You can find new stories here.
A weekly poem, read by the author.
Sept. 25 2007 7:35 AM

"Poem for My Daughter Disparaging the Gossamer Depictions of the Women of Certain Southern Texts"

Click here   to listen to Adrian Blevins read this poem.


Since it's true the women not only of the South but probably all over
******dole out iced tea in books while they slowly thrust off their blue panties
************and do things in the kitchen with pasta and herbs and nuts and oils
******************while removing their hair from nets
************************likened to those in the boats of fishermen

and are thus the hot blue yonder in a tribute to the mothers
******these men of the South and elsewhere wanted and probably didn't get
************but were hysterical for and so evoked as girlfriends and wives
******************in aprons near the clothesline
************************and in gardens with their hair all up

but coming down while humming low-slung tunes
******while cleaning out the sullied barrels within which they keep
************clothespins maybe and white washing rags,
******************I feel I ought to walk around the neighborhood
************************spying on the women here

to summon them in groups at the river with their washing boards and at quilting bees
*******with babies in slings talking home remedies. Oh August and Everyone:
************since the girls are always in some mode of surrender:
******************since they're always being overcome
************************by the warring sounds in words like truck and ax

as well as the truck itself and the ax itself while somehow meanwhile sparkling,
******maybe I should just go on and devote myself to the rivers
************and to all the bodies of water the women are said to be like
******************such as the ocean on my left and the ocean on my right
************************and the creeks back home

in the blue series of hills I-swear-to-God called Arcadia
******where we used to camp sometimes and where I threw up
************my first Southern Comfort while a series of boys
******************tried to get me to live with them
************************in cabins they wanted to build themselves

out of the stones of the creek beds because despite being illiterate
******they wanted the combination of Ruby and Ada in Cold Mountain
***********because in addition to the glistening they wanted the ginseng
******************and the pigs because they wanted a girl
************************who could tame and slaughter

and salt and store and trade the products of the barns and the fields
******with their hair all up but coming down against dresses also nimbly-rainy
************and blue panties that exist in order to be eliminated
******************in that period of time when twilight bounds
*************************softly forth on the grass two or three poems

over in the anthology from that other suddenly I realized moment about how
******in comparison to the droppings of last year's horses we are ever so much
************cower and shrivel and grovel and weep and squander and fritter
******************and waste. And since look I guess I've done it
************************since look I guess there's a lot of water here

and women everywhere stripped while plodding, I guess I should be content.
******But since you must never in your farmhouse my darling
************weep into your pillow upstairs and because you must
******************never my darling celebrate the bees making honey
************************without knowing too how they whither off

to the side of the hive, I am for the sake of the truth and for the sake of your future self
******and for your brothers too turning now to a depiction of women
************as arid and heady and defiant and uncouth
******************so you might remember me as forthright and honest
************************and turning and turning now

to a depiction of the seeing eye unwrapped and the unbeautiful mouth
******spectacularly unbolted for I am talking witchcraft here
************because I am versus the folklore though I know it's tender
******************and therefore versus the fathers
************************who never once laid themselves down

in what they'd call the tall reed grasses to conjure you up
******out of a yawning lode of shadow and plasma to carry for you
************and for your brothers and for all I know for the Lord
******************the old burden although it is a splendor
************************and the hindrance and the weight.