Poem: Why Uncle Moe Played The Washboard On The Block When He Had Health Problems

Robert Lashley
1 min readSep 13, 2022

A poem from my upcoming collected works manuscript

Photo by Blind Rhino Media on Unsplash
Is it the silences between descriptive verbs?
Is it the pattern(or sound)? Repetitions made new?
the sight from his pitch beyond notes and figures
of his delta-to-the-north-hill sorrow songs?
Is it the sliver branch order in ivory soap and metal
beyond blown blue-black scales?

Is it a motion, intimate in fiber, and cleanliness
with King James and James cook whips fading
away from the worries of his mind?—
away in his hands and self-made birchwoods?—
away In the resin and grease of his elbows?–
away from the cypress lake law that leveled—
in investigation–his school classmates.

Do trap thugs tell the end of the weevil’s eye?
Trapped on this block, do straps come to head?
Do trapped words reify in the movement of the board
as they sum landscapes in self-defined simile.
Do margins of rivers move at the feet of his stillness?
Do they press in migrations of his hand?
Do they give him-in circumferences-a region toward
home, a time and tempo in which he escapes?
Robert Lashley

Writer. Author. Former Jack Straw and Artist Trust Fellow. The baddest ghetto nerd on the planet.