Ken Taylor

Ken Taylor lives in North Carolina. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in VOLT, 3:AM Magazine, elimae, EOAGH, MiPOesias, The New Guard, OCHO, The Chattahoochee Review, Southword, The Carolina Quarterly, Gigantic Sequins and others. He was the 2011 winner of the Fish Publishing Poetry Prize.

black mountain

          for J. Peter Moore

along the drive the rhododendron crease
& wait. my mother’s mother praised these
days. a star fell from the ceiling in my
father’s house & made the vacuum smoke.
wood smoke on cerulean. i have another
dream of jean charlot passed by every son
& so & not seen: stalks all approaching
to raze studies above: hand shades eyes.

over the song & tear-sheet numbers: will
trade for local soul: meat on metal on wood
he took up the brio & choired three minute
ten inch wax. the unraveling treble clef was
trouble: & threw a rod wheeling his necker
knob: best delta poison in the whiskey.

poem for tuba & trombone

all this difficult brass waits for the minor
chords & shuttlecocks playing out troubles.
hands that milled cotton in the old armory.
sons & daughters still wish in mill houses.
nastic bubble of winds sight-reading four
crooked letters. strings re-tuned to slide.
about embouchure & toe-tap. tongued
notes & pressure. repetition of middle B.

fishermen lower hats on graveyard creek
bridge while his slow procession rolls by:
code of bottomland & eroded red clay roads.
code of the tallapoosa. we lower namesake.
clear every waterkey. blue tailgate & contra-
bass clamber to soughing adrift in kudzu.