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Mike James


Crossroad Blues

I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
                                                            Robert Johnson

Some people go down to the crossroad from heart hunger, from being badly loved since that first kiss. Others want advice disguised as directions. Others go because they were born fearless, want to learn what fear is.  

It helps if you smell like film noir dreams and worn out coins. If you carry bad luck, in your back pocket, as if it’s a postcard from home. 

Most days, the Devil wears a fedora. His smile, forever white. His voice, the accent of an old friend. There’s a joke he loves to make about how his handshake isn’t as warm as people expect. It’s his eyes though everyone notices. No one ever says if they are hazel, brown, or blue. Just that they hold your attention longer than any wish.

Mike James has been widely published in magazines, large and small, throughout the country. His thirteen poetry collections include: Jumping Drawbridges in Technicolor (Blue Horse), First-Hand Accounts from Made-Up Places (Stubborn Mule), Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog), My Favorite Houseguest (FutureCycle), and Peddler’s Blues (Main Street Rag.) He has served as an associate editor for the Kentucky Review and Autumn House Press, as well as the publisher of the now defunct Yellow Pepper Press. He makes his home outside Nashville, Tennessee. More information can be found on his website at mikejamespoetry.com. 

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