Spring 2012 • Vol. XXXIV No. 2 Poetry |

Always a Way

There's an echo of Chuck Berry's guitar saying, "As I was motivatin' over the hill I saw Maybellene in a Coupe deVille." Wildflowers have sprung up along the roadside bearing the agony of being alive on a day bright as this. Every good thing we dared in winter arrives by springtime: a whippoorwill among the pines, a colony of memories like muscadine on a vine thick as a boy's arm, redemption reaching into its roots before an afterthought steals back the sweetness. Something lost in the rearview mirror shifts, & here we are again on the dance floor at the Silver Shadow, the boys & girls reeling out to the edge of fingertips. A new feeling runs its livewire through the air a few months before James Dean fails to straighten out a curve somewhere in California. "Maybellene, why can't you be true?" The flowers always know a way into alleys & gullies, up to the shaded woods where darkness plays God, into the ordinary lives of men & women, until Th

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Yusef Komunyakaa’s seventeen books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular (for which he received the Pulitzer Prize), Warhorses, and most recently The Chameleon Couch and Testimony. His many honors include the William Faulkner Prize (Universite Rennes, France), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, and the 2011 Wallace Stevens Award. His plays, performance art, and libretti have been performed internationally and include Saturnalia, Testimony, and Gilgamesh: A Verse Play. He teaches at New York University.

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There's an echo of Chuck Berry's guitar saying, "As I was motivatin' over the hill I saw Maybellene in a Coupe deVille." Wildflowers have sprung up along the roadside bearing […]

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There's an echo of Chuck Berry's guitar saying, "As I was motivatin' over the hill I saw Maybellene in a Coupe deVille." Wildflowers have sprung up along the roadside bearing […]

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