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What Are We Not For, and The Black Umbrella

From: New England Review
Volume 34, Number 3-4, 2014
pp. 18-20 | 10.1353/ner.2014.0049

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

What Are We Not For

but to be broken
like the deer resting on the side of the highway,
in a bed made of

its insides? Isn’t the scene
always the same—the rump and legs
frozen in one last kick?

I, too, have lost my gaze,
the grip of the wheel—
like the one that plowed into

the deer. Wheel, will—it’s all the same.
And the ear does fail me at times,
as it must have the deer

that should have listened better.
Francine, on the other end of the line,
tells me I’m not listening; to listen

to my body or I won’t last long. We never
last long, do we? It all breaks—
the line pulsing forward, the line pause,

the long bone of it all. After all,
I am a broken animal. I am brokered
in the name of the wheel.

The Black Umbrella

Left in the car, the rain caught me
without a prayer. Faith? Where
is faith’s shelter when one is beaten

by rain, as if he is up to no good?
I am up to no good. A liar,
I left the umbrella

in the car. It broke. The spokes
pointed the blame
everywhere else. The rain is revelation,

I heard someone say once.
What did I learn? I’m still a liar. There was no umbrella
in the car, but it rained

something awful out. From inside,
I could see out the window. It was a small window—
I mean time was short.

The window was larger than I thought,
big as a car. I don’t know
how long the rain stayed in my mouth

before I swallowed it. I tried to swallow,
but there was no one there. I know the window
was the size of a car because

I crashed into it. It was raining
so bad that I couldn’t see. The umbrella
was black, good as new. Cell phone, I was reaching

for the cell phone. It’s bad this time, the voice
said before the call went dead. I didn’t see her,
the one with the black umbrella. She was crossing the road.

There was a body in the road—
collapsed like a broken umbrella. No, I was outside
on the ground. It was my body. The window was inside of

me. Pieces of it. I swallowed rain and blood
until help arrived. A woman
beneath a hole full of stars hovered over me.

She called my name—
or prayed? No, I couldn’t see a thing.

Tommye Blount  

Tommye Blount grew up in Detroit and is a graduate of Michigan State University’s advertising program. A Cave Canem fellowship recipient, he has published work in Collagist, Upstreet, Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series, and Cave Canem Anthology XII. He is currently working on two manuscripts.

Copyright © 2014 Middlebury College Publications
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Tommye Blount. "What Are We Not For, and The Black Umbrella." New England Review 34.3 (2014): 18-20. Project MUSE. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Blount, T.(2014). What Are We Not For, and The Black Umbrella. New England Review 34(3), 18-20. Middlebury College. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Tommye Blount. "What Are We Not For, and The Black Umbrella." New England Review 34, no. 3 (2014): 18-20. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed February 28, 2014).
T1 - What Are We Not For, and The Black Umbrella
A1 - Tommye Blount
JF - New England Review
VL - 34
IS - 3
SP - 18
EP - 20
PY - 2014
PB - Middlebury College
SN - 2161-9131
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_england_review/v034/34.3-4.blount.html
N1 - Volume 34, Number 3-4, 2014
ER -


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