Poetry

August 2021

Harlem Artists Salon

When my duplex & art salons were swollen all-night-blue

By Rodney Terich Leonard

July 12, 2021

Harlem Artists Salon




When my duplex                 & art salons were swollen               all-night-blue

                                             Non-BYOB affairs                           & I was simply


Donning my upbringing                                                    Overpouring & puffing


Un-teaching myself that applause can be bought—


Your hands                              cupped the peony stems & spruced the parlor

                                                 More Midwestern & bright.


& after the pukers

             & highbows left

                         Esther Phillips was chamomile.

                                     The swallows lengthened us—


Eggs, cayenne grits

& Conecuh sausage

On bamboo half-plates.

Then came the knee & winded stuff.


Whenever I’m in Los Feliz

Attached & pinned

To this new glare of mine

That you mattered matters.




Rodney Terich Leonard is the author of Sweetgum & Lightning (Four Way Books). His second poetry collection, Another Land of My Body, is also forthcoming with Four Way Books.

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