Sweat gathers like armful of crushed flowers
buffing the air with smoke and antiquity
Black gold runs feral through these sun-beaten bodies
won't anyone just give them work?
eKY Flood Relief Annotation 8/21/22
Herby wanted to show me something. We hopped into a car and zoomed around winding roads. We passed several signs marking mouths of hollers twisting up the slope; I read them aloud as we went. There were so many great names. He explained how there were many ways to pronounce a word. Hurricane can be hurrukin.
We pulled up alongside a coal sorting plant and he pointed out different features of the facility. Runoff from processing coal flows downstream, pools in different bodies of water. I thought the interconnectedness of industry and nature, livelihood and neighborhood, was as poetic as the human body system. Perhaps this kind of perspective is the gift of having a filmmaker be your guide.
I filled several pages of my journal with Herby's knowledge. Maybe sometime I'll dig it out from my stack and revisit my notes from that day. Support master storytellers like Herby who share their homes with open hearts as they recover from the late July floods: https://tinyurl.com/herbysmith
Return to the Kentucky Collection.
Just seeing the photo of Herby Smith helps me appreciate your work on a different level, Kat. Love it!
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