hosho mccreesh | 3 blues poems

Son House

knows of which he speaks,

knows of murder and self-defense,

knows of years gone on Parchman Farm,

knows of all those years lost
at the Central Railroad,

knows Robert Johnson
sold his soul to the devil,

knows there’s nothing worth
caring about but whiskey,

knows things that give shape to
that old, scratchy voice,

knows failures and infidelities
make us more and not less,

knows we each must write,
and that, among all of it,
is our death letter.

Lightin’ Hopkins

with his boot up on the stack,
and a slow hand reaching after
the knife in his boot, said
“I don’t give a damn what
name you put on the record,
but I’m gonna need the
money up front…”

Mance Lipscomb

Sunken-cheeked, wonky-eyed,
playin’ slide with the back of a pocket knife,
busted ring-finger in a splint, picking,
knew that, when it comes to women,
a real bluesman plays just 2 songs:

songs when, hot damn, you gotta have ’em,

& the songs when they gotta get gone.

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