Disappearing in Mississippi Latitudes: Volume Two of A Mississippi Trilogy
by Louis Daniel Brodsky
Driving south this shimmering September morn, My head droops Like a man-high black-eyed Susan.
Solitude is the hitchhiker I picked up miles back, Praying conversation might keep me awake,
But my eyes still refuse to make contact With his uncommunicative face As the highway lullabies us strangers
Into the concrete mantra of whining tires. Gradually I submit to drowsiness, Sink deeply and deeper
Into the incantatory ululation The road wails to wayward navigators While luring their souls away from home.
Suddenly time and distance Relinquish their holds, loose me; I come uncocooned, exit this dead mood
That has imprisoned me for 200 miles, Confiscated from memory the preceding four hours. I breathe in, suspire;
A fresh view snaps my neck erect, Ahead, I detect the river Connecting Arkansas with Tennessee.
Instinctively, I speed up, Relieved to be arriving intact, back again Where ghosts masquerade as sunflowers.
Use the player below to listen to Louis Daniel Brodsky read this poem.
In the second volume of Louis Daniel Brodsky's narrative trilogy about a Northerner's personal odyssey in Faulkner's Mississippi, the main character leaves his Missouri home more and more frequently, for this cultural "oasis" and recognizes that marital discord is at the heart of his flights. Moreover, his original perceptions of the land and its people, based largely on his reading of Faulkner's novels, start to delude him. Brodsky's verse is steeped in the sensuous brew of the North Mississippi country, and the mixture of ingredients — what he finds there, what it tells him about himself — makes for memorable poems. — Louis D. Rubin, Jr., founder of Algonquin Books and former editor of The Literary South
L.D. Brodsky's poetry offers a moving, insightful understanding of Mississippi worlds about which William Faulkner wrote. Brodsky's quest for Faulkner's world is a fascinating pilgrimage. — William Ferris, former chairman of the National Endowment for Humanities