Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Sound of Sugar....Brian Gilmore

Billy Bathgate (for chico)


    all i’ve got is this picture.

it could have been van der zee

gordon parks,

oggi ogburn fresh from

a chancellor williams’


we are capable boys;


up some small mountain

in the summertime

from that swamp of a city,

we couldn’t juggle balls

didn’t know any gangsters,

all we had was ice cold michelob and red juicy melon

holy like water.

we didn’t even know about the rattlesnakes

that i’ve now been told are all over that mountain.

all i’ve got is this picture.

    i could call up the crew,

though some of them are gone away now like wisps of smoke.

others are here but just floating on the skyline like kite

without string.

we were capable boys,

looking into the future as if we

would live long like frederick douglass

or c.l.r. james.

did i mention the michelob?

the red juicy melon

holy like water?

and how about those rattlesnakes?

all around us always now that we know

they are there.

all i’ve got is this picture.

unbreakable smiles.

lean frames.

polo shirts gripping some young

boys soon to be walking tight rope

without poles.

    it’s there, all of it.

    ice cold michelob.

    melon holy like water.


    we couldn’t juggle balls.

    didn’t know any gangsters.

we were capable boys,

all i’ve got is this picture.

About the Poet:

Washington D.C.'s Brian Gilmore is a poet, writer, and public interest lawyer. He currently teaches at the Michigan State University College of Law. He is the author of two collections of poetry: "elvis presley is alive and well and living in harlem," and "Jungle Nights and Soda Fountain Rags: poem for Duke Ellington." His poetry, essays, and reviews have been widely published in newspapers, magazines and journals; his honors include - Individual Artist Award - Maryland State Arts Council - 2001, and 2003, Pushcart Prize nominee 2007, Willow Books Award nominee (fiction) - 2013. He is also a regular columnist with the Progressive Media Project where he writes about politics, law, and culture. His blog is the chocolate city review.

About the Sound of Sugar:

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.