Southern Gothic

By Rickey Laurentiis Rickey Laurentiis
About the dead having available to them
all breeds of knowledge,
some pure, others wicked, especially what is
future, and the history that remains
once the waters recede, revealing the land
that couldn’t reject or contain it, and the land
that is not new, is indigo, is ancient, lived
as all the trees that fit and clothe it are lived,
simple pine, oak, grand magnolia, he said
they frighten him, that what they hold in their silences
silences: sometimes a boy will slip
from his climbing, drown but the myth knows why,
sometimes a boy will swing with the leaves.

Source: Poetry (November 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2012
 Rickey  Laurentiis


Rickey Laurentiis is the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press). He is recipient of a 2014 fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, a 2013 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Youth, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Mythology & Folklore, Fairy-tales & Legends

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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