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”Austin, Texas,” by Kwame Alexander (Winter 2001) and ”Barton Springs,” by Tony Hoagland (July/August 2007)

Author: Kwame Alexander, Tony Hoagland, and Corby James (video)

”Austin, Texas,” by Kwame Alexander

The hills of Mt. Bonnell at dawn blindfolded
the Colorado at noon barebottomed and
a poet's salsa at midnight barefoot
along the pavement
Of your soul
To get closer to this poem
to that fresh air music
of people coming
and going
in Austin, Texas

Barton Springs 2017 from Corby James on Vimeo.

Quick fly over of the gem of Austin, Barton Springs Pool

”Barton Springs,” by Tony Hoagland

Oh life, how I loved your cold spring mornings
of putting my stuff in the green gym-bag
and crossing wet grass to the southeast gate
to push my crumpled dollar through the slot.

When I get my allotted case of cancer,
let me swim ten more times at Barton Springs,
in the outdoor pool at 6AM, in the cold water
with the geezers and the jocks.

With my head bald from radiation
and my chemotherapeutic weight loss
I will be sleek as a cheetah
—and I will not complain about life's

pedestrian hypocrisies,
I will not consider death a contractual violation.
Let my cancer be the slow-growing kind
so I will have all the time I need

to backstroke over the rocks and little fishes,
looking upwards through my bronze-tinted goggles
into the vaults and rafters of the oaks,
as the crows exchange their morning gossip

in the pale mutations of early light.
It was worth death to see you through these optic nerves,
to feel breeze through the fur on my arms
to be chilled and stirred in your mortal martini.

In documents elsewhere I have already recorded
my complaints in some painstaking detail.
Now, because all things are joyful near water,
there just might be time to catch up on praise.

DMU Timestamp: April 22, 2019 18:22

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