Detroit Annie, Hitchhiking

21 Aug

Detroit Annie, hitchhiking by Judy Grahn

Her words pour out as if her throat were a broken artery

.and her mind were cut-glass, carelessly handled.

You imagine her in a huge velvet hat with great

 dangling black feathers,

but she shaves her head instead

and goes for three-day midnight walks.

Sometimes she goes down to the dock and dances

off the end of it, simply to prove her belief

that people who cannot walk on water

are phonies, or dead.

When she is cruel, she is very, very

cool and when she is kind she is lavish.

Fisherman think perhaps she’s a fish, but they’re all

fools. She figured out that the only way

to keep from being frozen was to

stay in motion, and long ago converted

most of her flesh into liquid. Now when she

smells danger, she spills herself all over,

like gasoline, and lights it.

She leaves the taste of salt and iron

under your tongue, but you dont mind

The common woman is as common

as the reddest wine


4 Responses to “Detroit Annie, Hitchhiking”

  1. Nat August 21, 2007 at 5:08 pm #

    “The common woman is as common
    as the reddest wine”

    I love that…

  2. thordora August 21, 2007 at 5:11 pm #

    Isn’t it awesome. I can’t wait to find some of her books. (hint for my birthday people. 🙂 )

  3. Bon August 21, 2007 at 7:10 pm #

    i’ve never read this, Thor…and yeh, it really is awesome. makes me want to strap on the old boots and go for a long midnight walk again, though it’s been years since i was that kid/woman.

    something in the beauty of this outsider woman reminds me of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne takes you down…” – did you hear the CBC piece sometime last year or so where they actually tracked down Suzanne, the mythical Suzanne? who has become, in her almost old-age, a bag lady, and who Leonard Cohen apparently walked by without recognizing the last time she saw him? so prescient…as a character her destiny almost couldn’t be otherwise, but when one realizes that she is a real human being…ouch.

  4. JD. January 19, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    ‘A beautiful video of Judy’s poem

    “Detroit Annie, hitchhiking,” read by Ani Di Franco’

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