KWH Pick of the Week: “Her and I Had Been in the Vinegar” by Abraham Smith, Chosen by Jamie Iredell

Posted on June 25, 2012


Knox Writers’ House Contributor’s Pick of the Week 6/25/2012

Her and I  Had Been in the Vinegar by Abraham Smith in Tuscaloosa, AL

Chosen by Jamie Iredell in Atlanta, GA who says:

Abe Smith makes animals. He conjures up mud and bakes it into strange and living fur. Bruce Covey once described an Abraham Smith reading as listening to a schizophrenic preacher high on heroin. Abe’s reading style is somewhere between country and somewhere else. You can hear in his voice the rhythm and trill of someone talking about gods. If you ever get to watch him read he gets into a trance-like frame of performance-mind. It bothers some people–makes them feel uncomfortable. That’s what’s so great about it. This poem tells a little and very strange story. Most of the story concerns a chair being thrown into sweet gum trees, but it’s really about a woman done someone wrong. It’s a country song. It’s Southern, in Georgia and Alabama, where the sweet gum range. I sometimes want to be an anorexic bear, but I am more like the opposite of that. This is a poem that will last to become an antique, straight-backed. 

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