Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

I am grateful to Prairie Schooner for presenting me its 2010 Jane Geske Award for “Driftwood,” “Lord, Make Me a Sheep,” and “The Mysterious Bar-B-Q Grill of Turkey Scratch, Arkansas” and to New Millennium Writings for awarding me a poetry prize for “A Soldier Gets Home.” ...

Firecrackers

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pp. 3-4

Part I. Press In

Dark Corner

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pp. 7-9

Telephoning

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pp. 10-11

Soul-Selling Ritual

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pp. 12-25

Honey Behind the Sun

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pp. 13-26

Driftwood

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pp. 14-27

Mawu Names Her Chief Assistant

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pp. 15-28

Art in Heaven

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pp. 16-17

Lord, Make Me a Sheep

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pp. 18-27

Last Song for Brother Langston

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pp. 28-41

Part II. The Wild Yonder Blues

From a Nationally Televised Press Conference Starring the Poetic Sheriff, Joseph Kilpatrick Conway, After a Van Gogh Painting Is Stolen from a Little Rock Exhibit and Recovered in Monroe County

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pp. 31-32

All of This Only Fifty Miles from the Former Home of L. Frank Baum, Creator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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pp. 33-46

The Mailbox

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pp. 34-47

The Palm Tree Soliloquies

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pp. 35-36

Marble to Flesh, Flesh to Marble

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pp. 37-50

Vanilla Home Run

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pp. 38-51

The Love Song of Jephthah’s Daughter

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pp. 39-52

She Dances with Tornadoes

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pp. 40-53

Sex and Pentecost

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pp. 41-42

Boy in the Buttonbush

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pp. 43-56

Little Lotty Knox

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pp. 44-45

Panjandrum

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pp. 46-48

Confession

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pp. 49-62

Mystery

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pp. 50-52

Part III. Becoming Hot Tamale Charlie

Carlo Silvestrini, Child of Sunnyside

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pp. 55-56

Carlo on the Hog Slaughter

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pp. 57-58

Carlo Flunks the Seventh Grade

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pp. 59-60

Carlo Finds Out Where His New Friend’s Name Came From

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pp. 61-62

Carlo Cuts a Rose for Splendi Pretti

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pp. 63-66

Carlo Goes to the New Catholic Churchnear Sunnyside

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pp. 67-80

Carlo Learns About Betrayal When His Girlfriend Leaves Him for “Glittery Eyes”

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pp. 68-81

Carlo Speaks of Hot Tamales

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pp. 69-71

Carlo Silvestrini Becomes Hot Tamale Charlie

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pp. 72-85

Hot Tamale Charlie Works Downtown Wilmot

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pp. 73-74

Hot Tamale Charlie Sings of a Player’s Heartbreak

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pp. 75-88

Hot Tamale Charlie Speaks of Rabbit Ice

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pp. 76-78

Part IV. Ghosts

Arkansas Blacks

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pp. 81-94

Jook House in Burning Season

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pp. 82-95

Goblin Song

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pp. 83-96

A Welder’s New Year’s Eve

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pp. 84-97

Tableland at Zero

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pp. 85-86

Waking Up in Baghdad

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pp. 87-100

Terror

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pp. 88-101

A Soldier Gets Home

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pp. 89-90

A Swiss Vintner in the Land of Muscadines

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pp. 91-93

Black and Sticky

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pp. 94-96

The Cold Tile Blues

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pp. 97-110

The Magic of Song

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pp. 98-99

Holy Ghost Man

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pp. 100-120

The Mysterious Bar-B-Q Grill of Turkey Scratch, Arkansas

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pp. 121-122

Notes

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pp. 123-124