June 14, 2010

Robert Louis Henry

Local Folk Art

Local folk art
like ladybug mailboxes
and REPENT on
a telephone pole
giant aluminum crosses
near the adult stores
and knee-high crucifixes
to mark where
their daughter was
killed while waiting
for the school bus.
He still drives fast
on that road,
and jokes about
the banjos gettin’
And local folk art
like the collection of
telephone poles
arranged like a
at that trailer
that burned down.
Not the meth dealer
or the meth dealer
across from the meth dealer,
but the one past the dam,
and the red barn.

—First appeared in 3:AM Magazine, May 2009


Dandridge has at
least forty cemeteries,
six churches, and two
rickety bars. The drugstore
has a classic soda fountain,
and it’s considered an attraction.
Down the road from it
you’re on the highway
with its chains of banks
and franchises of foods
exactly like every other
half-developed city.
Near the lake there’s
a restaurant that a
professional wrestler
bought for his mother,
and it’s considered an attraction.
But I’ve been there,
it’s just seafood.

—First appeared in 3:AM Magazine, May 2009


Robert Louis Henry lives in Tennessee. His writing appears in some publications. His latest book, God loves rich kids and we smoke off the same cigarette is available free here. He's editor-in-chief of Leaf Garden Press.

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