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‘Bark n’ Howl’

Your swing is a siren
calling me outlaw,

work of the devil
made taboo

like the jigerboo
boogie-man I am

ordered to play, pull over
& pull your pants down

but I’ve got no banana tree
or fig leaf stashed

just my horn under the dash
& blues on my hands

blues drippin’
down a mic stand

pulp n’ seed
spit n’ blues

from the Chicot Bayou

where the lake is a stretcher
come to carry me home

to the old lady
on a three-legged stool

wearing a duck feather necklace
nursing a rifle. Last seen

in denim cuffs
pushed up to elbows

well-greased high-top,
copper-tinged, kinky,

lean. Tapping
rapid codes

pursed lips pleading
fingers on the run.



Natacha Bryan is a writer, poet and workshop facilitator. Her poems have been published in Ambit, Iota, Butcher’s Dog and forthcoming in Urthona. Her collection, If I talked everything my eyes saw, was the winner of the 2014 Poetry School / Pighog Poetry Pamphlet Competition.

‘Bark n’ Howl’ was inspired by ‘KKPD’, a record composed by New Orleans trumpter Christian Scott. The track is a response to Christian being pulled over and harassed by the local police (aka Klu Klux Police Department) after a gig.


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Image Credits:

Image: Christian Scott

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons