Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Fall 2007  Vol. 6 No. 2


Chris Abani
Victoria Chang
Michael Chitwood
Keith Ekiss
Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
Beth Ann Fennelly
Raza Ali Hasan
James Hoch
Cyan James
Julia Johnson
Larry Levis
Khaled Mattawa
Timothy O’Keefe
Catherine Pierce
Jon Pineda
John Poch
Austin Segrest
Louie Skipper
Ron Smith
Robert Thomas
Joshua Weiner
Lesley Wheeler
Charles Wright


the honky tonk blues bar

We hear from here the water just
under the music, a white-lipped roar
glass under gaslights, rolled-up sleeves
a man’s tending in the corner over
something hard in the cups

a wake, no, we’re alive, we snap
planks, thumbs stubbed against the levy
Dance, I ask, dance—dance with me
I take lapels into my own hands,
dole salt winks on my man’s shoal

trade corn-liquor breath and hang
contra-swing, and when you keel
over and beat heels to the floor,
and feel wood flat under your cheek,
hear under pilings pure pure river