If Whitman Sang Alabama.

If all that remained on my screen was her filth,

I would, at worst, still stand proud of a morn.

And as fade became thrill,

I’d sing the praises of bleach & the bleed of her film.


If all that remained was the trace of her, the print or
the stain of the milk that I spilled, I’d sing,

I suppose, Alabama!


Sing of her ghost, or the breath of her ghost.

Sing of her sigh, the blink of her eye.

Sing of the dreamer, sing of her dream.

Sing of her headlights & tail-­lights & redlights & green.

Sing of her somethings & nothings between.

Sing of her silence, her thoughts & her streets.

Sing of her choirs, sing of her churches.

I’d sing of her seconds, her minutes, her hours.

Sing of her pencil, her paper, her page.

Sing of her eraser!

I’d sing Alabama!

Sing of the spaces between the bars of her cage.

Sing of the flick of her switch!
Sing of the thread of her days.

Sing of her laughter. I’d sing at the font, at her nave.

Sing at the mouth of her cave.

I’d sing Alabama & Home of The Brave.

I’d sing of her name.

I’d sing hither!


I’d sing of her rocks, of the fish in her rivers.

Sing of her flint, her fire, her flame.

Sing of her shadows, of her streetlights, her smile.

Sing of her darkness, her creatures, her fears.

I’d sing of the ear of the hare in her meadow.

I’d sing of the moth asleep at her window.

I’d sing of the stag in her beam.

Sing of the footsteps of her walkers & runners.

Sing of her crawfish, her gumbo, her bowl.

Sing of her travels, her clothes.

I’d sing Alabama!

I’d sing of her gravel, her grit & her sidewalks.

I’d sing of her passage through time.

I’d sing of her villages, her districts, her highways, her signs.

I’d sing of her trainrides, her bus routes, her crimes.
I’d sing of her coin.

I’d sing of her cats mewing in yards.

I’d sing of the arc lights & depots & cars.

Sing of her rivers & streams.

I’d sing of the moon in her sky of a morning,
I’d sing of the haul of her thieves.

I’d sing of her postal service, her office.

I’d sing Alabama!

Sing of her Camellia, her weeds.

Sing of her fields & her litter.

Sing of her seeds.

I’d sing of her vagrants, her shopfronts, her neighbours.

Sing of her magpies, yellow hammer, her bees.

I’d sing of her sewers, her beaches, her showers, her tears.

I’d sing of her hedgerow, her trees.

I’d sing of her silence, her pillow, her sheets.

I’d sing Alabama!




5 thoughts on “If Whitman Sang Alabama.

  1. Please pardon my question, Nick, if the answer is totally obvious. Does this refer to any particular Whitman poem, or did you simply let your creative juices flow? I a woefully ignorant when it comes to poetry.


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