Amy got two great pieces of news over the last couple of days. First, she found out that her poem The Biggest Jazz Funeral in History was accepted for publication by storySouth. No word yet on when precisely it will appear, but you can be sure I'll link it as soon as it appears.

Secondly, Electric Yeti took another story of hers for their first ever print issue (they've been exclusively online thus far)--a piece called The First Christmas.

No exciting news for me, although I sent out one contest entry today, and there are two major book prize deadlines coming up in two weeks, so I'll be buried with that as well.

And because I have little else to do on the blog tonight, a poem of mine own.

Up South

Amy stands on the edge of the sand,
tastes breezes through lips once chapped
by Oklahoma dust, looks away from the neon,
the faux-frontal nudity of Lauderdale.
She is home here, this place of mahi
and yellowfin and shark that flash
through reef and surf, that call her
to rejoin them as though she had once
sprung whole from the sea. Her land,
her peninsula, once separated from
civilization by malarial swamp
that still threatens to reconquer.
She calls my home “up-south.”
New Orleans, clichèd home of swooners,
of goateed gamblers debarking
from riverboats, of Storyville quadroons
named by Shakespeare. Not my city.
Mine is the patois of immigrants, faded
by assimilation, but still attendant
in chere and Hey la-bas and mais yeah,
in Ti-Jean and Nookie and Mawmaw June,
in roux dark and sweet and so brown;
in daily August rain not cooling,
falling just enough to steam the streets
and send me running for a nearby bar,
windows painted: Cold Beer, Colder A/C.
She is pollo and camaron, jerk and salsa
and reggae and old Jewish women
mopping their foreheads. I am bourré
and etouffee, low down papas with
the blues and a city ever on the brink
of washing into the Gulf of Mexico.
She is displaced Irishmen, snugs and whisky,
too many people, and ever on the brink
of being blown into the Gulf of Mexico.
I am where no one is a stranger,
just misplaced family returned home.
She is where no one is a stranger;
everyone is from somewhere else.

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