Friday, October 12, 2007

Ode to the Midwest by Kevin Young

Someone sent me this poem today. It's just too good not to share...

Ode to the Midwest

by Kevin Young

The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
—Bob Dylan

I want to be doused
in cheese

& fried. I want
to wander

the aisles, my heart's
supermarket stocked high

as cholesterol. I want to die
wearing a sweatsuit—

I want to live
forever in a Christmas sweater,

a teddy bear nursing
off the front. I want to write
a check in the express lane.
I want to scrape

my driveway clean
myself, early, before
anyone's awake—

that'll put em to shame—
I want to see what the sun
sees before it tells
the snow to go. I want to be

the only black person I know.

I want to throw
out my back & not

complain about it.
I wanta drive

two blocks. Why walk—

I want love, n stuff—
I want to cut
my sutures myself.

I want to jog
down to the river

& make it my bed—

I want to walk
its muddy banks

& make me a withdrawal.

I tried jumping in,
found it frozen—

I'll go home, I guess,
to my rooms where the moon

changes & shines
like television.


Kevin Young is the author of five books of poetry, most recently For the Confederate Dead (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), and the editor of four others. His book Jelly Roll (Alfred A. Knopf, 2003) was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Paterson Poetry Prize. He is currently the Atticus Haygood Professor and Curator of the Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University.

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