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Three Poems by Amy Susan Wilson

In Arts & Letters, Poetry, Southern Literature on June 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

Amy Susan Wilson has recently published in Southern Women’s Review, Fried Chicken and Coffee, Cybersoleil, Dead Mule, Crosstimbers, Red River Review, Red Dirt Review, The Literary Lawyer, and in other similar publications. Amy Susan’s poetry book,  Honk If You Love Billy Ray, is forthcoming from Dead Mule Press; she is the Founder and Publisher of Red Truck Review: A Forum for Southern Literature and Culture, forthcoming September 2013. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and lives in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She can be reached at

Tater’s Small Engine Repair

Tate, known as Coot to all

him and Reverse, Pete for real

but Reverse cuz his Chevy 250

got no back-up.

Those boys

they get to guzzling

lemons squeezed into vodka

and what-not

Reverse says,

I seen floaters

            Red River.

            Bodies puffed as marshmallows,

            sorriest thing I’d seen.

 “Oh Hale,” Coot says.

             Motor Head here

            best  Negro magician

            on  a power warsher

            rider mower to boot.

Arguing till sunset

whether Motor Head

healed warsher

rider mower alike—

            Come Back 2-morrow  sign

winks purple-neon.

Coot, Reverse

agree on nothing

other than

one  floater

swells whole river

with sorrow.

PJ’s Liquor

My butt anchored

to Elvis-old

wooden stool,

            No Man is an island,

            Entire of itself;

My man Donne says

though no time

to guzzle poetry,

watermelon brandy


            Hey Big Blake Junior!

            How ya doing?

Egg-white sweat

beads the adam’s apple;

nose, forehead


Just in from the Grandkids,”

Big Blake Jr. lies.

            Every man is a piece of the continent,

so I says,

Take it easy



beige teeth,

pear-shaped rumpus,

heat seeks



aisle two

shelf three.

Her kid

hangs his

water slide long


out the passenger


Lord and Gumby Stew–

some kinda new

birth defect?

This place:


plywood barn

like my

Granpa Ramey’s

lawn mower shed

smack-dab the



winks green

as the hair that floats in

to ink up

on Buzz Jam

Whiskey Jel,

Black Licorice.

Yellow halter

butterfly left of nape.

Green Hair Gal

squeals like

she sees a mouse—

TV saying

three bodies

Boston Marathon.

            Any man’s death diminishes me,

            Because I am involved in mankind,

but news dude paid to say,

“Sports up next.”

This big tear

rains down

her left cheek,

four cents short.

Slut Butt Miller: A Barber’s Daughter 

Whale-O-Suds Tunnel Wash,

Jimmy Maloney unfastens

midnight-blue push-up

one hand.

White wife beater

daisy duke shorts

litter John Deere

floor mats

along with

Jack Daniels

Pall Mall pack.

Creamy mint frosting

soaps the Ford 150

as if a giant cupcake.

Turtle Wax


1:00 in the a.m.

Pink thong


Jolly Rancher easy,

watermelon kind.


a done deal,

Slut Butt

squeals donuts alone

Shawnee Bowl.

Keystone glued

to cup holder,

Slut Butt

circles her Daddy’s

‘95 beige Impala

round and round

that empty lot,

swears to FM

and humidity

her Daddy visits

in a dream

that plays

like a movie,

Recall your tire swing

            Salt Fork Landing,

Red River?

                        Old tread

            roped to oak—

                        Just for you,


Her Daddy




that muddy

Red River,

her Daddy

right now

just north

PJ’s Liquor

A-OK Pawn,

Pottawatomie Cemetery.

Asphalt and sky


as the inside

of a beer can,

the backseat

of some boy’s truck


  1. I absolutely love the authenticity of the characters in the poet’s work. Her words are soaked with Southern atmosphere, emotion and sharp intellect. I can’t wait to read more of her work!

  2. Amy Susan’s poems are humorous, poignant, and honest. Love the regional worlds of these poems. “PJ’s Liquor” knocked my socks off!

    Mary Clasby

  3. Amy’s talent never ceases to amaze me. Her work for the Dead Mule set the tone for some wonderful reading experiences to come and she did not disappoint with these poems. Nicely done. And thanks to Allen for recognizing her superior talent. Growing up in Fort Smith, AR gave me the opportunity to know much of OK and to visualize the people in the poems but regardless of my youthful geographic experiences, I’d still be able to “see” these folks because she describes them so well — even if I’d been raised in Arizona.

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