National Poetry Month – To Roanoke With Johnny Cash by Bob Hicok

April is National Poetry Month in the US, which is meant to illuminate the importance of poetry in our culture. Below is my selection to add to this month of poem appreciation: “To Roanoke with Johnny Cash” by Bob Hicok. I am particularly taken with the odd rhythm produced by the enjambment and the final line, even though left unpunctuated, is a stark punctuation to the entire poem. Are there any poems that are your favorites? For a few more selections, check out what other poems have been posted here in the past.



To Roanoke with Johnny Cash

Mist became rain became fog was mist
reborn every few miles on a road
made of s and z, of switchback

and falling into mountains of night
would have been easy and who
would have been known until flames

and nobody, even then. I played his life
over and over, not so  much song
as moan of a needle and the bite,

the hole it eats through the arm
and drove faster to the murmur
of this dead and crow-dressed man,

voice of prison and heroin and the bible
as turned by murdering hands.
And the road was the color of him

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**Top photo from Wikipedia.




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