Poem 5


                Leaving Nashville


Dolly Parton has vacated my soul

the essence of Merle and Loretta now

no longer weeps nor seeps

from the pores of my skin


my ears are not plugged with barroom vomit

my tongue no longer speaks

Pedal Steel


the cells of my body are not honky-tonks

nor my heart an old pickup truck

my Daddy once gave me


my eyes have grown blind

to the sequined reflections of


Texas small farm harmonicas

Broken-hearted barmaid jealousies

washed in

whiskey infatuations


the blood of the Lord


my jaundiced, overtaxed liver vacations now

from detoxification of lyrics encrusted with



indigestible corn


Crucifix in hand

intoning ancient Latin incantations of power

my blood has at last exorcised the Johnnies





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