When The Big Man Blows. A Poem by Phillip Henry Christopher

(for Ed)


When the Big Man blows,
relive those glory days
rockin’ and rollin’ in the back seat of
a beat up old Buick,
an Asbury Park tune,
a hemi-head
double-barrel bass guitar,
wild and innocent
shufflin’ down E Street,
when Adam first raised a Caine
dancin’ in the moonlight Rosie
low tide summer,
and the tilt-a-wheel
caught us by the collar
and we hung on
and went around and around,
when the Promised Land was
clandestine alleyways,
heavy breath moist
air-fogged window
gasp of a woman child
back street September sixteen,
rockin’ back beat crashin’
fifty ton plates,
furious splooshing
ladles plunging into
liquid steel,
skinny silky skin
long-haired boy
trying to flee
the future,
the mill waiting
to turn velvet hands
to sand paper,
skin to leather,
the quick nervous
wrapping of limbs,
bumping of bellies,
then a house filled with silence
and forty years
of punching in and punching out,
of hot molten slag
like hell fire.
No Jersey Shore fantasy,
just the short ride
down Main Street
to the flats.
No sandy beach ocean,
just the Brandywine Creek.
No neon spinning carnival rides,
or stroll down summer boardwalks.
Just plod along under
smoke stack steeples,
clock in and out forever,
but never forget summers
of desperate fumbling
on back street back seats,
of alleyway heat,
of the Big Man blowin’ righteous
saxophone songs of
Sandy, and Rosie
and Crazy Davey,
while you sang a
song of yourself.
When the Big Man Blows” appeared in PiF Magazine, No. 188 (January, 2013)


Poet, novelist and singer/songwriter Phillip Henry Christopher spent his early years in France, Germany and Greece. His nomadic family then took him to Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio and Vermont before settling in the steel mill town of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, where he grew up in the smokestack shadows of blue collar America.Escaping high school, he made Philadelphia his home, alternating between Philly and cities across America, living for a time in Buffalo, New Orleans, Fort Worth, even remote Fairfield, Iowa, before settling in Indianapolis. While wandering America he has placed poems and stories in publications across the country and in Europe and Asia, including such noteworthy journals as The Caribbean Writer, Gargoyle, Lullwater Review, Hazmat Review, Blue Collar Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Blind Man’s Rainbow and New York Quarterly
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; his publications include
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules, Next Arrivals and Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)