Motorola, 1954

by Daniel Robbins

When she could no longer
live at home, Juanita
gave it to me with a stack
of records inside, through which

I could see my mother’s family
passing in time, the space
from Guy Lombardo to
Sergeant Pepper’s like a bridge
over the history of the world.

She died on the anniversary
of when Elvis did too. Last year
I was in Memphis when it came.
I always pictured Beale Street
the way Miles Davis plays it

but it was all beer and ghosts,
the king’s death celebrated
by people fighting in a garden,
two drunk teenagers pissing on a wall
blocking a bronze plaque
that holds the names of famous men.

Daniel Robbins is a graduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he served as editor for the Kaleidoscope and technical writer for the IT department.  Recently, he has appeared in The Allegheny Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, and Aura Literary Arts Review.  He has won several awards including the Barkesdale-Maynard Poetry Award and a Hackney Literary Award for Poetry, and is currently working on a book about comic-book literature entitled In Defense of Men in Tights.

Daniel Robbins was nominated for Poets Under 30 by Bob Collins.