It’s the day after Hank Williams’ birthday. He would have been 90 this year if he had not died before he hit 30. You are waterproofing the front deck and a song start running through your head and the song goes:
You’re my gal and I’m your feller
Dress up in your frock of yeller
I’ll look swell but you’ll look sweller
Settin’ the woods on fire.
And so goes a portion of the title work of Dan Barth’s collection of “prose pieces & poems.” You have to imagine Barth singing the lyrics to his own guitar accompaniment, but the music of his writing comes across clear and sweet. So does his blending of literary endeavor with seemingly mundane activities. I doubt there’s another “Ode to My Bow Saw” or “Ode to my Branch Loppers” in the history of poetry. Such verses rival Robert Burns’ “Ode to a Louse” for drawing on the everyday for creative material.
Don’t think you’re always going to stick to the domestic, though, when you join Dan for The Day After Hank Williams’ Birthday. You’re in for a lot of rambling as well. From Hawaii to Florida to Big Sur to Idaho, you’re going to have yourself a time. You’ll do a lot of toking up and a lot of laughing. Where else can you get yourself a cascade of chuckles over a trip to Radio Shack? No where. This is one you’ll want to read through, then pick up again and again for a smile and a bit of wisdom. Like Dan’s diving duck
At end of day on bank or berm
Or warm mud by the shore
Trade stories and jokes with other ducks
And laugh myself to sleep
Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack