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  Al DeGenova
Al DeGenova has performed widely as a poet and as lead saxophonist for the Chicago-based blues group, The Seven Sons. His years as an editor
Al DeGenova
at Downbeat inform his blues-based poetry. Al is the co-founder and editor of After Hours, a bi-annual literary magazine of Chicago literature and art, now in its fifth year of publication.

AvantRetro (Charlie Rossiter & Al DeGenova) is a Chicago-based performance poetry duo that uses a variety of techniques and tools including store-bought and home-made musical instruments, audience participation, and unorthodox vocalizations to present their original poetry that gets at the essence of what it means to be human.

The Blackberry Poems



Al DeGenova
Not Blackberries

It is not blackberries or rain
or wine or brandyit is
you on my lips the scent
of cream-blue dawn the taste
of woman, you, the earth spring
the lingering taste of living that
days and years and pages of calendars
and nightmares and miles of mountains
and ten thousand showers
cannot wash away.


Feed Me

Feed me
your blackberries
soaked in rain or sweet white cream
in a flaming brandy sauce
in your belly button
down the zipper of your jeans
balanced on the pucker of your lips
in between your toes
spread like jam over your breasts—
I eat you blackberry
bitter or sweet
your juice running down my chin.



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