Michael Seymour Blake | Poem

The Artist and the Tool Maker

My great grandfather abandoned his family,
weaved spells in the Lower East Side,
told the fortunes of desperate people,
prayed to gods and demons.
His immigration papers
listed his profession
as “Artist.”

Before heading off to war
my grandfather tracked him down.
They shared cold black coffee
surrounded by
altars,
candles,
strange symbols displayed on the walls.

I think about
my grandfather’s hands,
grease-stained,
shaking.
My great grandfather’s hands,
wrinkled,
paint caked under the nails.

“The spirits are speaking to me,
they say you will survive
this war.”

Later on,
my grandfather
barrels into the living room
with a running hose
and chases his four screaming children
around the house.

My mother always laughs
when she tells that story.

.

.


Michael Seymour Blake’s work has appeared or is forthcoming at HobartQueen Mob’s Tea House, Barrelhouse, Fanzine, Flapperhouse, Entropy, Waxwing, Corium, Paper DartsPeople Holding, and Heavy Feather Review. He writes and doodles in Queens.

2018-01-22T11:52:38+00:00

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