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New Poems by Anthony Uplandpoet Watkins

If I Had a Norton


I don’t want a motorcycle

anymore than I want a gun,

but if I wanted a motorcycle

I would want a Norton

A 1969 Norton Commando

Not a ‘67, by ‘69, when risk of fire was reduced, though, as with many British motors,

carburetors were forever in need of a tinkering, often as not, outright replacement.


Though I

would never ride it,

one set ought

to keep me.


And I would

keep it in a dusty shed

that smelled of gasoline

and straw

and motor oil

in Earle, Arkansas

and in the afternoon

the light

would filter through the slatted door.


Maybe I would sit in the dark

and smoke hand rolls

or Pall Mall Reds,

probably not.


I don’t want a horse

I have no interest in riding them

But I used to want a mule,

a white one, but now

I realize a black one would do.


I wonder if there is

a donkey big enough

to carry me?


I like black donkeys

I could keep a donkey in the country in Florida,

It’s only the motorcycle

I would need in the delta.

Anthony Uplandpoet Watkins

...from his just published collection Old Copper


Hard Okra

I’m leaving


as your path


crawdad holes


slow motored boats

dusty green smell

old ponds

hanging moss


at hard okra

and seed pod trees

you stand like

on a bronze star


where I stood

and smelled woods

smelled dewberries

still alive


no snakes, tomatoes, coffee

no Texas


little bronze marker


Cottonmouth Boy


Hershey kiss tattoos

up both arms,

eats cowboy bread,

hums a bar of

Red River Valley

before losing the tune,


Then says “red lights

are just lights

that used to be yellow.”


He has no bars

around his mouth

only around his brain.




in the room

on cricketback


It All Depends on a Grape Ne-Hi


Sitting in the cool dark

air of November,

I realize I love

old ladies, babies and dogs

of any age and sort.


I used to love old men,

but there don’t seem

to be many anymore,

ones that are don’t suit me,

just cusses,


not the sweet grandpas

to take little ones fishing

or to the store for

grape Ne-Hi.


I haven’t seen a Ne-Hi

in a long, long time

maybe they buried them all

with the old men


maybe I just became my own

old cuss and they gonna have

to bury me with a cup

of black coffee

as the Ne-His

have gone.

My doctor

don’t want me

drinking no sugary drink.


Though dead, I could

have whatever

I wanted, unless I want

Ne-Hi, which is,

of course,

what I want.

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