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By Kevin Young



sends fenders

& letters headlong

into each other

the future. Fusion.


Big Bang. The Big

Apple, Atom’s

behind him—

no sirens

in sight. His career

of careening

since—at six—

playing stickball

a car stole

his spleen. Blind

sided. Move

along folks—nothing

to see here. Driven,

does two Caddys

colliding, biting

the dust he’s begun

to snort. Hit

& run. Red

Cross—the pill-pale

ambulance, inside

out, he hitched

to the hospital.

Joy ride. Hot

wired. O the rush

before the wreck—

each Cadillac,

a Titanic,

an iceberg that’s met

its match—cabin


like an engine,

drawing even

dark Shine

from below deck.


shop. Body work

while-u-wait. In situ

the spleen

or lien, anterior view—

removed. Given

Gray’s Anatomy

by his mother for recovery—

151. Reflexion of spleen

turned forwards

& to the right, like

pages of a book

Basquiat pulled

into orbit

with tide, the moon

gold as a tooth,

a hubcap gleaming,


swimming for land,

somewhere solid

to spin his own obit.

Kevin Young, "Cadillac Moon" from To Repel Ghosts. Copyright © 2001 by Kevin Young. Reprinted with the permission of Zoland Books/Steerforth Press.

Source: To Repel Ghosts (Zoland Books, 2001)

  • Nature
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Poet Bio

Kevin Young
Kevin Young was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. He studied under Seamus Heaney and Lucie Brock-Broido at Harvard University and, while a student there, became a member of the Dark Room Collective, a community of African American writers. “I feel like a poem is made up of poetic and unpoetic language, or unexpected language,” Young said in a 2006 interview with Ploughshares. “I think there are many other vernaculars, whether it’s the vernacular of the blues, or the vernacular of visual art, the sort of living language of the everyday.” For roughly a decade, Young was the Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University. Young is the poetry editor of the New Yorker and the director of New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. See More By This Poet

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