Saturday Town, Dragon’s Teeth Press, 1976. 

The following poems are from Thomas Thornburg’s first published collection, Saturday Town & other poems, published in 1976 by Dragon’s Teeth Press.


You, man or woman who hand this book
Alive in this red world, looking
To your own in your human heart
The charged color of my high art,
The word made flesh and the fleshed hoarding,
Edged as one’s arm is, a supple knifing
When knives come out and the thrust is in,
Bone and blood is, kith and kinning,
Hearth is and homeward, child and wiving
Is this samethingness, blood and wording
That is my labor,
You are only my farthest neighbor.


When I was a young stud heeling down
The reebing streets of Saturday town
The houses mewed and rafters rollicked,
And who didn’t know me for a rounder?
I played knick-knack while the sun fell, frolicked
My heart like seven on the sawdust flooring
Where the women boomed and the basses faddled
I forked me a singular journey, saddled
All the long moon where the dogstar diddled
Till the cats closed shop for the dearth of dorking
And the town turned over to see such sport;
Oh, it was red money I spent indooring.
One jig my heart snapped like a locket
And I kissed it off to the fat and faring,
Buckled my knees to the silver caring
And hawsered my heart to an apron pocket.
It’s luck I sing to the he and seeing,
To the sidewalk shuffle of Saturday town
(While the moon turns over and mountains scree)
Where the owl and the pussycat buoy their drowning
Ding-bat times in a stagging sea—
Harts tine where the roe-bucked does are downing—
And the Saturday man I used to be.


As I walked out in thundering April
And all the streets were runing
And the day green-good went rilling for me,
Freely I strolled in the curtained sunning;
The world wave-wet, joyed and easily
I nithing was, but not alone;
There tulip and crocus and windy anemone
Gayed in the giving rains, pleasing
The very crows that the black wood cawed me,
The trees in the rainy park applauded.
As I youthed out in April, latching
The careful door of my fathers’s house,
A wind turned, catching my fellow slicker
And the trafficking plash to market doused
My sunday Pants; to the sexy dickering
Town I puddled; it was time I forded,
The pavement running seaward;
There cunning I
Brought fisted tulips to a boobing lady
Who dawdled in her kinsman’s house;
By back-alley ways where the lilac fawdled
Rain-heavy blooms on my shoulder, purple;
Sheer-bloused there in the corner-nook chair
She sang an ancient turtling song,
The morning ran over, the tall wood rooking.
As I stepped into another April
And capped my head, O, the winding day
Carried the calling birds who circled
In the peevish wet where the woods were graying;
My hard-monied house stood still behind me
Spelt home to children as they came hilling;
It was a luffing wind my hart spilled,
From the shrouding hangings of myself came, rilling
Tulip and crocus and windy anemone
To the hawser nithings, the port of onlies;
It was not April ran my face
But the figured sum of April tracing:
Stood in that cycled hubbing weather
Rounding my compassed heart until,
My deaths aprilling my august knees,
We walked the runing streets together

to be continued, check back for updates

Publication Status of Saturday Town

Currently, no copies of Saturday Town are available anywhere on the Internet.  That status may change, and perhaps with some research, copies may be found.  I will continue to search for copies.


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