Wednesday, January 20, 2010
"Cover Story," by R.A. Allen
I first heard about kudzu one night in the late ‘60s when James Dickey gave a reading from Helmet at my college in New England. Before reading his poem “Kudzu,” he went to great lengths to describe the invasive vine with which we students at the time were not familiar. He described for us the kudzu-covered cars in a junkyard in Georgia. With the soft drawl of his voice, he said the vines served an unintended purpose in his youth. In the back seats of discarded Cadillacs, he’d crawl with adventurous girls and the vines provided them with the necessary comforts they needed when stealing away in the night for sweet romance. So when I read this story, my memory quickly recalled that night described by Dickey in his own words about his youthful escapades into taboo, sheltered by kudzu. Read a retrospective on kudzu in Mississippi here in LITnIMAGE.