from little rock to memphis

there’s a sweet little girl
in pulaksi county.
her old man works
at the air conditioner factory
high-school basketball
tore his ham right off the shinbone
she stayed with him all these years out of pity.

her passion burns hotter
than high july,
in a world frozen colder
than bad old december
she’s pretty as her daddy
but got her momma’s temper, i met her
in little rock, on an overnight to memphis.

she said “look around this bar
i ain’t exactly the most beautiful
and the guys ‘round town only want me because
i work in pharmaceuticals”
i said chemistry is fine, but physics is better
she said “i prefer ballistics. take your shot”

later, she told me, through
a haze of grey green smoke
“somedays it hurts to feel, it only
feels good when everything is burning or broken”
i told her “burning means nothing is
left behind”. she said “you ain’t fucking kidding”

she coulda packed all she owned
and lit out with me to memphis.
what else is life if not a series
of ill-conceived adventures? but there were
ties that bound which had not yet been burned
or broken or bargained to nothing.

so in the town where the
strip malls praise the name of the lawless
in the pink, glaring light of the
cinderella whorehouse
she’s still fogging up the windows of her ford
explorer and i’m still driving from lil’ rock to memphis.

This entry was published on 10/05/2012 at 1:07 am. It’s filed under poetry, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

54 thoughts on “from little rock to memphis

  1. Pingback: Straightforward Poems for Straightforward People « tarnation and eudemonia

  2. isiscambassassassassian on said:

    A romantic, realistic, rough and tumble roadsong.

  3. There’s that mix of the sly southerner rounder and the guy who builds those out of kilter modern world (cinderella whorehouse, the ford explorer) – plus this whacky, not quite right rhymes. Love this stuff.

  4. maiseylou on said:

    It’s a brutal world out there. This is modern romance in one of it’s many dark shades. I think you both got what you wanted.

    • I think it is a world where people who want to get something do what they need to do to get it. It’s a world of conversations and accomodations.

  5. missdirected11 on said:

    Fantastic storytelling. So honest, so full of vivid detail.

  6. antsjuices on said:

    Two very real people in this.

  7. darkeyesblueveil on said:

    Gritty, lawless, nervy and a little too real at times. Love it.

  8. abdulbencamel on said:

    Like a bus ride ‘between two worlds’ and ‘groundhogs day’ – nicely written

    • Hey Theo! The angles on this one run neither straight nor parallel. It’s all bypasses and flyovers or fireroads and ditches.

  9. Ships in the night. Sounds like a good night.

  10. NotResponsibleAmy on said:

    Ace work, Seb.

  11. love this! especially this part:

    “and the guys ‘round town only want me because
    i work in pharmaceuticals”
    i said chemistry is fine, but physics is better
    she said “i prefer ballistics. take your shot”

    based on someone you know or some girls as a whole?

    • Oh yes, definitely a real, particular person. Great gal. She’s got a little girl now. We still talk now and then, we’re Facebook “friends”. She’s a good egg, she is.

  12. Southern gothic as gothic as it gets.

  13. changeforbetterme on said:

    I like it! I’ve been waiting for some more of your work. 🙂

    • Hey! 🙂 I’m glad you waited! I tend not to post too often. I really don’t have much to say and my stuff, in the grand scheme of things, is not that interesting.

      • changeforbetterme on said:

        Oh I don’t know. I find it interesting! We are always our own worst critics. I’ll look for your next one 🙂

  14. The human soul and it’s scuffs and scars are your domain.

  15. bashothegreat on said:

    I can get all of the literal events of this but I still can’t figure out some of the metaphoric/symbolic ones. I have learned that you never leave us easy puzzles – but this is tough. Rich, mysterious, character-driven. Decidedly odd.

  16. I’m frequently in LR, so I am going to look next time for what may be the Cinderella Whorehouse

  17. harperfrommonroe on said:

    Saints and Sinners.

  18. Yep! I like the laid back western feel of it.

  19. harperfrommonroe on said:

    Such times, such morals – eh, Seb?

  20. liverloverlass on said:

    The English version of this would be “from Calderstones to Grimsby”. Only it wouldn’t have been as sexy.

  21. yourejivingme on said:

    Very Tennessee Williams, the wandering rounder, the dark stranger at the door….

  22. sex2poetry4life on said:

    A graphic look at the real housewives of Little Rock

  23. Oh I love the greasy beauty of this.

  24. Southern Belles are one thing on the surface and another thing under the sheets.

  25. hellznokel on said:

    I find you anti-romance thrilling.

  26. lindastoria on said:

    You still “tarrying” with this fine young thing?

  27. LOL…………I can see you know your south! 😉

  28. You ain’t fucking kidding you ain’t fucking kidding.

  29. I hope this dates from before 2009! 🙂 Seriously, this is fantastic – every detail moves to where you would expect it but not how you would expect it,

  30. I’m confused by the reference to working in pharmaceuticals, because, you know why…

  31. nataliekosta on said:

    So exciting to find this!

  32. Yaz on said:

    Great Seb. You remind me of Bob Seger, somehow. I love his lyrics, and your lines paint pictures in the same way.

  33. smiles…she sounds like quite the character..

  34. Deliberately Delicious on said:

    You know how the end a poem. Those last two lines are just exactly right.

  35. Your words produce an amazing collage of images… all sun and smoky interiors… arresting images. Love it!

  36. I true-love-tragedy – love that she’s into ballistics.

  37. amazing. reminded me of country songs sung by legends.

  38. I love this, love this, love this. Kind of poem that rides right up my backbone. I know that girl.

  39. electricaunty on said:

    It’s a true from – to relationship – a real journey for both parties.

  40. Best line of poetry ever:
    i said chemistry is fine, but physics is better

  41. Loved this! Best part for me: “but there were
    ties that bound which had not yet been burned
    or broken or bargained to nothing.” So good and says so much with very few words.

  42. Loved this one. The resignation and the spark all wrapped up together. Life, eh?

  43. Stalking the hell out of your words.

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