Our Land

come on, jaunt
through louavull:
gateway to the south.
louisville? gateway?
from where? the questions
coastal strangers

u. of l.
or u.k.?
you gotta know.
no, wrong answer—
no right answer.
‘here’ is both:
l, k.

okalona is
smokalona. saint
matthews’ passion is
peace and quiet. the
bards in bars on
bardstown? kentucky

burp on bourbon.
milkshake? good, but
straight? heaven
hill is below knob
creek, which always
makes its mark on

the city’s elephant:
all the black folks
are west of ninth.
derby day, they
cruise, unstabled,
unstable border

a fort on ford-less
falls is all this
was at first, you
know. now,
affordable fords.
american made, god

west of the east,
east of the west,
south of the north,
north of the south—
no man’s land?
no, it’s someone’s. it’s


Alec Joyner lived in Louisville for the summer of 2012, and he has sung more than one song for what already feels like his old Kentucky home. Send him an email at alec.joyner@yale.edu.


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