portion of the artwork for Amorak Huey's poetry

Amorak Huey’s Comments

Three of these poems—“Blind Buck Williams’ Last Meal at Parchman Farm,” “Trickster Sings the Blues,” “Whiskey Blues”—come from a collection of pieces about or inspired by blues: the music, the musicians, the history, the mythology. Both “Blind Buck” and “Trickster” come out of that interest in the mythology, how much of what we believe about blues and blues musicians is our own invention, a story we tell because it meets some need of our own, because it supports the dominant paradigm. Elijah Wald’s book Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues informed how I see these blues myths, and in turn, these poems. I don’t know exactly what “Whiskey Blues” is about. In my mind, it’s about Birmingham, Alabama, but I don’t think that’s actually in the poem itself.

The other thing that all five of these poems have in common: place. Where we are and who we are cannot be pulled apart. I am skeptical of poems that don’t seem to take place anywhere in particular. (Or maybe I’m not. I said that, and it feels true, but I’m sure I can come up with all sorts of exceptions.) Anyway, these poems have place at their heart. I hope.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 39 | Winter 2013