Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2023  Vol. 21  No.3
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Manuscript Epigraphs

For Elijah Luther
and Clifton Hardy

The formation of a Man from Childhood is like the honing of a knife; the steel and stone and skill of the hand make a fine sharpness where the mind is revealed. One grows dull and makes a botch of all he tries. One makes a refined shape. Another carves through Time a peculiar thing: individual, never guessed at, a monument to Genius and Labor and yet ordinary as Light. A secret turning in the World—a magic life.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “The American”

Abraham liked to fool and mess. We all did. I saw him drag a coin from his sister’s ear. I saw him make half a pig and a bowl of greens in a twinkling disappear. He said he’d been to the moon once and it was only a mile up if you could jump. I believed him. We were children. I think his Momma pulled him from a hat.
—Clifton Hardy

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