The Candidate

The Candidate

By Bebe Kern


Out of television into living daylight, like
the nightmare demon of my Southern girlhood,
the specter is everywhere: dirty ballcap man
in the pickup with a truck-size Rebel flag flying
over Mardi Gras; salesman with a leer;
frat boy drunk on Dewar’s and privilege
mocking a sissy, marking territory on the lawn
before he grows up to poison a town’s water;
accidental mom, defiantly obese, raptured
on the couch by a blue screen while children
drink sugar by the can and sing battle sounds;
tank gunner banker broker laying waste to marsh land;
old man in camo dreaming in Walmart
of creamy girls and automatic weapons;
grade school bully laughing at my simple shoes.


Bebe Kern lives in the North Carolina Piedmont region, drives a Ford truck, works a day job, and listens to poets and musicians including Donald Justice, Miroslav Holub, Jane Hirschfield, Charlie Smith, Tom Waits, Mary Gauthier, Drunken Prayer, The Handsome Family and Loretta Lynn. She had a poetry class at the University of Alabama under Hudson Strode, and studied at the University of South Alabama with Walter Darring and Stephen Mooney. Her poem, “Pray Mississippi,” was named a finalist by The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. Novelist Julie Edelson reviewed Bebe’s original CD, No Twirling, saying, “Bebe Kern is a lunch pail sort of poet … her work is fresh, with a good strong bite.” 


By | 2017-03-05T00:22:22+00:00 March 16th, 2017|Categories: Issue 16: 16 Mar 2017|Tags: , |0 Comments

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