What can YOU say in six sentences?
Ten o’clock Friday morning, two women in housecoats were smoking in dinette chairs on a porch no bigger than a sheet of plywood. Two shotgun houses away, three men worked on a late model Ford, hood raised, its right front wheel on blocks.
One of the shadetree mechanics kept hitching up his pants, which required that he bite the tip of his cigarette to free his hands. He was…Continue
The Jack Russell terrier, red leash coiled on the grass beside him, cocked his head in front of the giant speakers flanking the Front Street stage.
While Vince Johnson and his Memphis-based Plantation All Stars praised the virtues of big-legged women, little-legged girls danced on the bricked street, oblivious to the lyrics.
As the shadows from the nearby Yazoo River…Continue
“There are no inhibitions in here,” the postman shouted, gesturing at the dance floor with his Marlboro Light, the glowing tip aimed at a woman in a taut skirt. Leaning far forward, her hands nearly touching the plywood floor, she planted her feet and began polishing the smoky air with her backside.
All heads turned, mesmerized by the silent coitus between woman and air, and then…Continue
GREENWOOD, Miss. -- There’s more gap between a toddler’s first teeth than between the many shotgun houses fronting streets named for either flora or dead presidents. They sit like plucked piano keys with fading furniture on crooked porches, from which life -- a television with a single static-filled channel -- is observed.…Continue
For those who have no choice but to live life at low tide, where even high tide is barely sufficient to float a power pole’s reflection in a roadside ditch, poverty is not charming.
It’s either hot or cold, laden with cholesterol, bald tires, rust and too many mouths to feed.
Survival requires space heaters, quilts sewn of old underwear, tabletop fans, sauce for the…Continue
"Red's Blues Club," one of my paintings in progress
The mingling of pork fat dripping on hot coals,…Continue
Before Ike made a Turner out of Anna Mae Bullock, before he and his Kings of Rhythm found a new moon in St. Louis, he was living out of the Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale, Miss., one of the South’s few in 1951 where blacks could be guests, not just bellhops or maids.
There’s a new plaque on a pole outside the Riverside nowadays, but the establishment appears ready to slide down into the flood plain Ike must’ve gazed…Continue
Over at the Shack Up Inn on Hwy. 49, a graying white woman in sweat pants and a tee-shirt -- 35 going on 55 -- strips the sheets off one of the beds.
A job is not so easy to come by in the Mississippi Delta, where one of every three adults and every other child live in squalor, a place where the per capita income is less than $13,000, where the names of dead teenagers are graffitied on dilapidated houses that have “For…Continue