Pilot Light
A Journal of 21st Century Poetics and Criticism
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Letter to Gabriel Written in the Margins of Murder Ballads
(Continued from Page 18)

For my friend, Jake Adam York.

The “you” being addressed is Gabriel, today commonly – if incorrectly – known as Gabriel Prosser, a literate enslaved blacksmith who planned a large slave rebellion in the Richmond, Virginia area in the summer of 1800. Information regarding the revolt was leaked prior to its execution, and he and an estimated twenty-five followers were taken captive and hanged in punishment.

Norman Dubie:
It is another century. 
Things are not better or worse.

John Coltrane:

Jake Adam York:
becoming a column of air 
anyone can pass through.

Child of gravity, stranger to the ground. 
Come down and help me rise. 

There is only one year,
and it repeats itself forever.

Sound description/transcription from Library of Congress’ Slave Narratives Collection: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/

Gary Lutz:
The world was one place, then overnight,
it became someplace else. 

In other words, this is always going to be
about mine, not yours.

From the film General Orders No. 9, by Robert Persons:
What should the new map look like?