Living

By Frank Stanford 1948–1978 Frank Stanford
I had my quiet time early in the morning
Eating Almond Joys with Mother.
We’d sit on the back porch and talk to God.
We really had a good time.

Later on,
I’d sort baseball cards
Or look for bottles.
In the afternoon I’d shoot blackbirds.

Jimmy would go by the house for ice water
And make the truck backfire.
Oh, I really liked that.
That was the reason he did it.

In the evening the cottontails ran across the groves.
I shot one and put him in the backseat.
He went to the bathroom.
Jimmy said I knocked the shit out of him.

At night we would listen to the ballgame.
Then to the Hoss Man.
Jimmy liked “Take Out Some Insurance On Me Baby”   
    by Jimmy Reed.

Estate of Frank Stanford © C.D. Wright

Source: The Singing Knives (Lost Road Publishers, 1979)

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Poet Frank Stanford 1948–1978

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Youth, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Family & Ancestors

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Born in 1948, Stanford was a prolific poet known for his originality and ingenuity. He has been dubbed “a swamprat Rimbaud” by Lorenzo Thomas and “one of the great voices of death” by Franz Wright. He grew up in Mississippi, Tennessee, and then Arkansas, where he lived for most of his life and wrote many of his most powerful poems. He attended the University of Arkansas from 1967-9 and studied engineering while continuing to . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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