paper • 78 pages • 14.95
ISBN-13: 1-884800-54-8

The Subsequent Blues

Gary Copeland Lilley



This is the poem where my brother becomes
me in the pulpit at his Pentecostal church
and the faithful lean forward in their seats
as he witnesses having been a womanizer,
a liar, a cocaine thief and nothing
could touch him, how he’d laid on the side
of a lean shot glass until late in the day
with God over him, how he jack-hammered
holes in the crazy streets, bandana dripping
and him pushing the blade, how the summer
was the heat, and trouble and love simmered
to a circumstance, getting sanctified strength
in lockdown, the right shoes to walk parole
and the blues, Lucifer playing the steel strings.

Praise by Eleanor Wilner
Praise by E. Ethelbert Miller

“Master bluesman of letters, heir apparent to Etheridge Knight, Gary Copeland Lilley is the versatile troubadour for people doing hard time on the planet. His sage, street-wise, devotional poems give voice to a world of characters conjured out of his observant, affectionate eye, pitch-perfect ear for the vernacular, and an imagination that invites even the gods to take up residence in his lines. A debut to celebrate!” —Eleanor Wilner

“Gary Copeland Lilley writes like a man who owns a Stetson hat. Is he Stagolee? The Subsequent Blues is a book filled with a sinner’s honesty. Lilley captures life with all its blue tones and shades. From cigarette smoke, to drinks and drugs, a few of the poems are as seductive as a woman’s thighs. Lilley has seen enough bad times and death that each poem he writes has that flicker of light we once called soul. Put this book in your mojo bag.” —E. Ethelbert Miller