Saturday Dec 02

KrapfNorbert-creditRichardFields Norbert Krapf, Indiana Poet Laureate 2008-10 and winner of the Glick Indiana Author Award (regional) 2014, is the author of eleven poetry collections, including Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet’s Journal of Healing (2014), American Dreams: Reveries and Revisitations (2013), and Songs in Sepia and Black and White, and the retrospective Bloodroot: Indiana Poems. He has released a poetry and jazz CD with Monika Herzig, Imagine (2007) and collaborates with Indiana bluesman Gordon Bonham. As IPL, he promoted collaborations and the reunion of poetry and song. He was a Creative Renewal Fellow 2011-12 with the Arts Council of Indianapolis with a project of combining poetry and blues. He lives with his family in Indianapolis. For more info, including audio and video files, book descriptions, and photos, visit here.


Solo for Sonny Boy Williamson

Sonny Boy, I see at my side the tufts
of cotton I picked near your grave

deep in the Delta outside little Tutwiler
in which they say the blues were born

near the train station where W.C. Handy heard
a man slide a knife blade along his guitar string

and sing twice over “Where the Southern
cross the Yellow Dog.” I see in the mirror

of my fading memory a miniature whiskey bottle
next to small harmonicas leaning against your stone

left by your loyal fans who also heard
what I did too, the blue notes you blew

and sucked into your heart and soul
and spewed into the bowl of our ears

like the blood that oozed from your mouth
after you returned home from Chicago to die.

How the Santa Clara Potter’s Hand Prays
for Jody Naranjo

It lifts reservation clay out of the earth
and turns it into coils it loops

around and shapes into a container
able to hold light within itself.

She places the formed shape into a pit
of wood shavings and manure

that take to flame. When the clay
being emerges red hot from the fire

womb baked like an eternal loaf
that cools and stands on its own

her hand inscribes animal figures that move
around circular sides as tiny lines

come to life breathing with transferred
energy released with love like birds

whose wings lift toward the mountains
beating the rhythm of a hymn of praise

over the valleys cupped to receive
music whose sounds drift earthward.


Photo Credit: Richard Fields