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Ernest Slyman
Queens, NY
Poet, humorist, playwright and novelist.
Recent Activity
The city’s divided by joy. One side’s happy. The other side’s full of bliss. They take turns laughing. Sometimes they sip sweet tea. It goes with the chicken dumplings which are big as the Appalachian mountains. The buttermilk biscuits in Bristol sing like Tammy Wynette. Bristol lives in two states.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Bristol Stories
The Bristol Knot One end loops over the other. The other end accepts the know. It’s the Bristol knot. A rather distinguished knot. Half windsor, half animal. Get close enough to it and the knot could bite you. The men in Bristol know the knot. They grew up with it.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Bristol Stories
The shape of Tennessee’s like a parallelogram. Every year it points toward the east. Davy Crocket standing on a mountaintop eating a bear sandwich and drinking from a bottle of moonshine. Rabbits curl around his feet. His coonskin hat can sing and play the fiddle. Davy’s grin is big as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Bristol Stories
The state line that divides Bristol wasn’t always long. It was born short. Not much longer than few inches. It didn’t have any toes. It didn't’ have a nose. It was about as long as few inches. A squiggle that didn’t know it could grow long legs. It was short,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Bristol Stories
The bright lights in the Stone Castle told our futures. If they fell on us we appreciated the praise. The seats were wooden. They taught us the hard lessons. The rain didn't tell us much. Did you see Larry Rose? Charlie Wolfe threw a long pass for a touchdown. Hoot... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2018 at Bristol Stories
Excitement has a sharp sword. It fights for every breath it takes. When the day dies the stars lay down in the earth. The leaves rise and take their place along the clouds. The wind waits by the river. The leap of a fish nearby makes the dusk’s toes curl.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2018 at Bristol Stories
It’s a way of grieving as it passes under the bridge it speaks the names of the dearly departed. The mountains grieve differently. They sob on Sundays for wild deer, mountain lions and birds. The sounds the wind makes when wild animals die resembles the God fearing member of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2018 at Bristol Stories
The memories I have of you are scarce -- The time you said you had more freckles than a starry sky. I recall when we tried out for the Pony League together. You stood in the outfield when a fierce line drive landed right in front of you dove at... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2018 at Bristol Stories
I heard the name of my hometown in my head last night. I saw bright lights. I was standing on a street called State Street. The white line that divides Virginia and Tennessee. The line gazed up at me. It remembered me. I see myself strolling along State Street. Hear... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2018 at Bristol Stories
So what happens if the Bristol voice falls downstairs. What happens to it when it’s chased by a snake while walking at Steele Creek. The smell of wild flowers jumping up its nose. The birdsongs of sparrows overtaking the cricket peeps, turning the peeps into wild animals. Little field mouse,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2018 at Bristol Stories
It’s taken the longest time, but Mrs Witherspoon has done it. She’s broken through. For five years, she’s studied the rooster’s cockadoodledoo. She’s taken notes on it. She’s thinks she knows what the rooster is saying. It’s a mystery around Bristol for the longest time. Who knew the cockadoodledoo was... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2018 at Bristol Stories
I have taken the opportunity of folding moonlight and putting it away in my linen closet. It climbed through my window. Lay on the floor. I didn't want to wake it. I hope you don’t need. However if you do I’ll be happy to loan it to you. I know... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2018 at Bristol Stories
From early childhood, Bristol and I have a terrific relationship. The town gave my voice. It comes out of my pen. Have you noticed the green hills. the blue sky above. My pen’s a stranger strolling Windsor Avenue. Sometimes it goes to State Street, has breakfast at Coleman’s Cafe. I’m... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2018 at Bristol Stories
Snow fall, mountain wear long grizzled beard. Sun give snow on ground chance to live good life. Melt when snow make mistake. Look up sky. Call it names. Snow got a bad temper. The warmer it gets the more the snow has a sense of right arm missing. Leg arm... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2018 at Bristol Stories
What rivers say about us most flattering. We see our reflection in their eyes. What kind of fish admires Bristolians? One with a shiny tail. He want to asks us question. Do you eat worms? Do you eat insects? Fish love such delicacy. South Holston River like bugs. Give fish... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2018 at Bristol Stories
Hen-pecked husband found dead in barn. Man strangled by red striped necktie in church. Organ music go to sleep during minister’s sermon. Mule kick moon over Blue Ridge Mountains. Moon late for supper. Hear bell. Never climb mountain. Out of breath. Moon sell moonshine to anybody who looks like they... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2018 at Bristol Stories
A line of country characters some wear shoes. They’ve all got a twang. They’re trying to work out their problems. Sometimes they don’t see so good, hear so good. Sometimes they play guitars, banjos, and fiddles. The Bristol alphabet drives a truck. Works on the farm. Slops the pigs. Feeds... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2018 at Bristol Stories
Where days go the nights follow, never in a hurry to get to tomorrow where the sun opens a door, dark falls down stairs, breaks its skull, light laughs about it. Light with bones shining bright like the stars in the night clinging to the sleeve of a morning sun... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at Bristol Stories
Rainbows die in their sleep. Dreams of children and old people brightly lit, colors that arch across the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rainbows full of starry skies, the moonlit lake, the flight of wild geese, snowy mornings, windy days, rain soaking deep, into the earth, more deeply than flesh and blood,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at Bristol Stories
The Cornbread Rhymes When birds are dead and buried, feed them cornbread and they will sing such sweet melodies in memory of spring. I am cornbread. I give the poor their pride. Joy lives in a slice. Once I mended a broken leg, winter went skating on the ice —... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at Bristol Stories
Why doesn’t the crow believe in God. Its caw has no faith. The crow doesn’t know very much. The wrens find the crow a believer in Kierkegaard. Tulips turn their faces away when the crow flies by. You can hear the crow every dusk in Bristol. The crow denies the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at Bristol Stories
Scrambled eggs run off to join the Navy. God bless the biscuits and sausage gravy. Two dill pickles met two sweet pickles. Lifesavings was two brand new shiny nickels. Mustard gives the hotdog spice. Beans always spend all it’s got on a bowl rice. If you divide Bristol, half of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at Bristol Stories
I find chicken wishbone. It don’t know me. We see each other around. We wave. Don’t say nothing. Break wishbone, make a wish. In Bristol, the chicken wishbone is a way of acquiring your future. Abundance come from chicken bones. Snap bone and watch your life change. You take advantage... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at Bristol Stories
Foot is a fool. Toes wise. Hand dumb. Fingers know how to thumb nose. I don’t like toes. They like old men. Grumpy, don’t say much. Hands in their pockets. They can’t remember when last time they kissed old woman. Old men have shiny faces. The big toe is boss.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at Bristol Stories
You catch a housefly. What does it mean? You shake clutched hand. Throw down housefly on back porch. Fly knocked out when it strike floor. You no hear moan. You no see grimace on face of fly. Why you look? Face too small. You need magnifying glass. Then you see... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at Bristol Stories