Knoxville, Tennessee 

Knoxville, Tennessee
by Nikki Giovanni, 1943

I always like summer
best
you can eat fresh corn
from daddy’s garden
and okra
and greens
and cabbage
and lots of
barbecue
and buttermilk
and homemade ice-cream
at the church picnic
and listen to
gospel music
outside
at the church
homecoming
and go to the mountains with
your grandmother
and go barefooted
and be warm
all the time
not only when you go to bed
and sleep

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “Knoxville, Tennessee 

  • telcontarblog

    Nice memory but it isn’t poetry. Poetry is T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. Somehow At some point Someone decided If I write it like this And maybe don’t use punctuation or even capitalize (thanks e e) I can pass anything off As a Poem. Bollocks. Signed, A Traditionalist

    On Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 4:00 AM The Closet Professor wrote:

    > Joe posted: ” Knoxville, Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni, 1943 I always like > summer best you can eat fresh corn from daddy’s garden and okra and greens > and cabbage and lots of barbecue and buttermilk and homemade ice-cream at > the church picnic and listen to gospel music” >

  • telcontarblog

    This is poetry.

    Midwinter spring is its own season Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown, Suspended in time, between pole and tropic. When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire, The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches, In windless cold that is the heart’s heat, Reflecting in a watery mirror A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon. And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier, Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing The soul’s sap quivers. There is no earth smell Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time But not in time’s covenant. Now the hedgerow Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom Of snow, a bloom more sudden Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading, Not in the scheme of generation. Where is the summer, the unimaginable Zero summer?

    T. S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

    But then I’m 65 and raised before literature became infected with Identity Politics and Political Correctness, when it was OK to admire a dead white straight guy :D.

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