Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 26, February 2013—Tribute to Jake Adam York)

Tribute to Jake Adam York

Stacey Lynn Brown
—for Jake Adam York

In the timpanied tenor of penny arcades,

the red roofs of rusted tin shacks, hollowing,

in the plinking half notes of bare bulb juke joints,

we hear your song:

on stilts in swamps near gators half-breezing,

in the boiled brass cauldron bouillabaisse

bubbling, in the brined ribs and brisket slow

smoked in brick pits, we hear

your song in the scorched afterburn of good bourbon,

in the cracked red clay of dirt roads undriven,

in the low aching moan of loblollies

swaying, we hear your

song in the spluttering mutter of combines

grinding, in the shape note singing of clapboard

congregations, in the churchyards and graveyards

mossed over, tall grasses,

in the tune a child hums licking clean greasy

fingers, in the off-pitch whistle for a redbone

come running, in the symphonied cicadas, the tree

frogs tirruping, in the deep

breath beginnings of an old story, summoned,

in the borrowed voices of the exhumed and revived,

in all of the places where you’ll never again be, Jake,

we are listening for you.