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Disappearing in Mississippi Latitudes: Volume Two of A Mississippi Trilogy


by Louis Daniel Brodsky


Dozing Off

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.

 



Praise:

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



Click here to read some of Brodsky's Faulkner essays and interviews.






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