Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Something It Did Not Used to Be

Especially confused by things he understands,
he finds himself in a recreated sector
of Oklahoma City called Bricktown,
which is cheek-by-jowl to Deep Deuce,
Charlie Christian's ground. Bricks

of the newly restored buildings to him
evince a muted somber red that alludes
to tragic mineral compounds
cooked hard and put up wet with mortar.

Restaurants, bars, and shops:
the holy trinity of tourism:
America, here is your culture,
kind of. He told this to nobody
but himself. And nobody
danced except in clubs, nobody
wove carpets, or improvised
sales negotiations, or read
poetry out loud. He understands
exactly why and remains puzzled.
Oh one more thing: "the martini"
had become something it did not used to be.


hans ostrom 2015



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