June 15, 2012 by The Citron Review
by Albert Pertalion
South Louisiana is an oral country.
In bars, factories, oil rigs, boats,
stories live in repeated tellings.
Mary Karr calls them Liars’ Clubs.
Don’t ever ask why one version differs,
the question may come back to you.
A fish was bigger; much bigger this time.
“Chere, you can’t believe dat catfish, 101 pounds!”
“Caught dat sucker on a limb-line; trot-line couldna held em.”
After fish and deer come the over-ripe conquests,
about a too beautiful woman; if her ways sound familiar,
would you let on? The telling is the truth of the teller.
The voice, the eyes, the body-talk, the truth is there,
the unblinking look, the head cock, the persuasion,
the tales the tales, I’ll hear them again.
Albert Pertalion retired from Georgia Southern University and has spent most of his life as a professional director of theatre. Pertalion studied poetry with Eric Nelson.