The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook

Yesterday was pretty awesome.

The long awaited anthology The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook launched.  Tons of Detroiters.  A few transplants, but hey…

Big thanks to Aaron K. Foley, for the opportunity and for the platform to showcase Detroit’s many voices.

If you missed the reading, here’s a peek of my piece.  If you want to see the other ones, you’ve gotta get your own.

Good thing for you, books are on shelves now!


What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You About Delray, Michigan 48209


You can smell Delray

from three different cities.

In the summer, Delray smells like the shit that burns

and under the I-75, it rains exhaust all year.


The skies are streaked yellow during the day, and

someplace between steel and sewerage

the smell of pancakes, fish and grits

wakes a household.


In the miasma of waste and Zug

a grandfather calls his granddaughter Shank

and teaches her to sow New Year’s collards

in the front yard.


Someplace, between Yale and West End streets,

that grandfather’s daughter remembered him

in beds of mustards, and tomatoes.  She teaches

her daughter that onions are lilies.


Someplace between funk and rot, folks

are tired of not being able to breathe in the day

tired of not being able to sleep at night.

My father lives there, still.


Some nights, if you listen closely

you can hear the neighborhood hum

something between stench and haze

between song and secret.


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