Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Winner of 2013 Wheatley Book Award in Poetry
Finalist for 2013 William Carlos Williams Award
Winner of 2014 Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry
"Patricia Smith is writing some of the best poetry in America today. Ms Smith’s new book, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, is just beautiful—and like the America she embodies and represents—dangerously beautiful. Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah is a stunning and transcendent work of art, despite, and perhaps because of, its pain. This book shines." —Sapphire
"One of the best poets around and has been for a long time." —Terrance Hayes
"Smith's work is direct, colloquial, inclusive, adventuresome." —Gwendolyn Brooks
In her newest collection, Patricia Smith explores the second wave of the Great Migration. Shifting from spoken word to free verse to traditional forms, she reveals "that soul beneath the vinyl."
Patricia Smith is the author of five volumes of poetry, including Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection. She lives in New Jersey.
commerce that could save his life? he starts hanging in the shadows of our apartment building, pulling down his pants and charging us a dime to look, a quarter to touch. stubbed fingers, dingy, pinkish, thumbing it. the slowly writhing nub hooded and winking sly neon, here, here, here, go on, touch it, go on be startled by its whispered little rhumba, its soft arrogance. the long line of wait, colored and curious, snakes Washington street with giggles electric, our one stomach
saw, other folks saying you saw more than you did. Heaven is where my Jesus live. Just one way to get there, no great big shiny ship can rise up on that sacred. They think they gon’ look the Lord dead in his eye, asking questions with nerve enough to wait for answers? No man gon’ reach down, just scoop up moon, even if Mr. Cronkite say he did. Them white men way out in a desert somewhere, stumbling round in them blowed-up suits with movie stuff back a’ them, laughing inside those glass
it is all everything for him for his little empty gut. They feed him enough for two other people, though no one says two other people. Finally someone says bodies. Something about the souls having left them and thank God for that. Someone says maybe just one casket. He is eating peaches drifting in a syrup. They think he is a little boy too overloved to hear. But he knows days. And this new sound, orphan, which means that mama and daddy are too close to be pulled apart. They are in one pretty
convincing grin into the back of your head. Gut a rival. Snip an emergency hem to release the utter glamour of knobbed knees. Magically turn Tuesday’s wig into Saturday’s. The secret is to never stop crooning, to inject your roundabout lyric with air, a little violence, frosted water. Warble like you were born with the engine of switched hips, like your breasts suddenly swing beyond your absence of breasts. Ms. Ross, you will be underestimated. Just make sure they never find out how you
fingertips, major players in a terrible love story’s climactic scene. I boarded the bus and clawed the window while you stood on the sidewalk, the sugar of what we’d been staining your cheeks; all that was missing were the drooped tulips and aching strings. And the gulp that happens when a man loses hold and forgets the definition of man. I wonder if your father ever wonders where I am. I wonder if he wonders who I was. ASKING FOR A HEART ATTACK For Aretha Franklin Aretha. Deep butter