The Chattanooga
The Ballad of Cora Lee
I remember when you and I found ourselves
Bunkered at the twin-station night-cross
Tracks beaded in light, yellow braids of sweat
Pressed between wheels, racing to some destination
Melting together with our desire
Coming and going in white steam
You in your black-lace begging suit,
Me wreathed in a round of shots most passionate:
Black soot love there,
Smoke among the pine-needles.

You said that when you reached
Union City you would perform your speciality:
The Haggard Black-Belly dance,
So among the pools of vapor come
Between rounds of shooting, (shooting up, shooting out),
In what you liked to call
"The Abortion Rag-Tag,"
You did your dance.

The line out of Chattanooga was not
(I must now state, your honor)
Drawn out by the gods, though it lifted us above the hills
Valleys fitted out in Kotex and hot wet Trojans.
All our fecund fears (and yours, perhaps, too)
Came out of these musty vales,
Your legs wrapped about my black body,
The crossed planks we made out,
Made out all about us.
I loved you you
Fat passionate
Catholic baglady:
You under me
Or straddling me
Or over run me.
The windows must have been drawn down
All the way to and from, to and fro, Chattanooga:
You alive in your stinking rage
Panting and yelling (yelling and panting)
"O god o god ogodogodogod"
Words streaming out of tunnels

Our load out of the one sweet whole.

Safely trapped well beyond the stations
You wept and said something about
The dark flash or flesh of coming.
What rot, your honor.
You under the twin flags of desperation,
The gods gone flat-out mad,
There round
The round mountains
Coming round
Comin' round the mountain,
Cora Lee.
Chattanooga Tennessee and you
(and I, your honor)
Must have been devised
By those out of their minds,
Slitting out the night cracked back
There where I could have reached you
Too late you black too
And my wire-hair
A fairy crackhead,
Pushing thin silver lines
Along the lines
Flat steams of you And your

--- Jhaid Jackson
Send us e-mail


Go Up     Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH