Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby


R.B. Morris is a Knoxville poet and songwriter, solo performer and band leader, and a sometimes-playwright and actor. His books include Early Ires and Keeping the Bees Employed. His most recent album as a solo performer is Rich Mountain Bound. He wrote and acted in The Man Who Lives Here is Loony, a one-man play taken from the life and work of James Agee. Morris served as the Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee from 2004 to 2008 and was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame in 2009. He will give a reading and a musical performance at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on April 12 at 6 p.m.


April and the sun
Poking out between showers
People out walking dogs
In the grass to do their business
Me, I’m all about it
Sober as most judges
Awake and watching
I hear the morning dove coo
Between a swoosh of cars
I welcome the day
You are never too old
To be what you might have been
Someone said
George Eliot, actually

But, Spring is here! Eucharis told Rimbaud
In a budding grove, in a blooming stand of violets
He finally decided to mention it, apparently
Whoever he is
But Rimbaud saw that nobody really cares
He said since the flood it’s been nothing
But business as usual all over again
So you might as well bring back the waters
Bring back the floods!
Only next time it will be fire
It’ll be worse
At least that’s what I heard

Yes, but I am an old paradoxical
Calling for another walk out into the nether
Just as the dark clouds are gathering
And let us pretend we might catch a thunderbolt
And discover that power that darkness that light
That drove young Arthur into the ether
Into two directions at once singing!