Confessions of the Snakeskin Preacher

Photo: © Olga Breydo. All Rights Reserved.

Three poems by Ben Crace: “Preachin’ the Word,” “Leading by the Spirit,” and “Potluck.”

Preachin’ the Word

The fire again
Under chin
Burns sin
Heated scar
Turn to
Gospel of Mark
Not even poison
These signs
follow them
not know.

Leading by the Spirit

Cool snakeskin
Rhythmic guitar zen
Bright light
Fred on drums
Sister S with
Daddy bootlegger lost
eye for booze
Feel the cold blood warm
In faithful
Hands of love.


Gnarled scarred
Fanged fingers
Pass deviled eggs
Creamed corn
Potato salad
Broken plastic fork
Bent paper plate
Casual conversation while
The Box rattles.

Originally from East Tennessee, Ben Crace currently teaches in the English Department of the American University of Kuwait. “My time and experience in the Middle East has given me new perspectives and insights into a place I find familiar and haunting: the mythic South. My poetry attempts to get underneath and inside the cultural and religious layers to help me, and hopefully my readers, empathize with complex, regionalized and embodied experiences.”

Appears In

Issue 6

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