At the Crossroad, Highways 61 and 49

By J. Patrick Lewis b. 1942
“Mister Johnson
I see you look to buyin'
Mister Johnson
That all you want is Fame?
Mister Johnson
Now what you got to offer?
Mister Johnson
Salvation is my name
With a rhythm on a riff
That's practically God
Oh Lord, I'm a pure
Undivining rod
I'm a flickerin' candle
With the blackest light
I'm the darkest angel
And I own the night
Mister Johnson
That instrument you got there
Mister Johnson
It's Lucifer's guitar
Mister Johnson
I'll tune it for you, baby
Mister Johnson
They won't know who you are
I'm a cutthroat seller,
The Magician of Deal
Who can stoke sweet fire
That'll make you feel
Like a hothouse flower
On double defrost
Who won't give a nickel
For the petals it lost
Mister Johnson
You slink on back to livin'
Mister Johnson
In devil-may-care control
Mister Johnson
Don't thank me for the favor
Mister Johnson
I thank you for your soul”

J. Patrick Lewis, "At the Crossroad, Highways 61 and 49" from Black Cat Bone, published by Creative Editions. Copyright © 2006 by J. Patrick Lewis.  Reprinted by permission of J. Patrick Lewis.

Source: Black Cat Bone (Creative Editions, 2006)

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Poet J. Patrick Lewis b. 1942

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Religion, Faith & Doubt, Arts & Sciences, Music, Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural

Poetic Terms Refrain

 J. Patrick Lewis

Biography

Former Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis grew up in Gary, Indiana and earned a BA at Saint Joseph’s College, an MA at Indiana University, and a PhD in economics at the Ohio State University. Lewis taught in the department of Business, Accounting and Economics at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, until 1998 when he became a full-time writer.

Lewis is the author of more than fifty books of poetry for children, which . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Faith & Doubt, Arts & Sciences, Music, Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Refrain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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