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"Who thought this up, this reservoir/of sorrow, tang of chrome, taste of cedar?" asks Smith. "I first learned to spit and whisper/through a one-octave mini-twitter/from a Cracker Jacks box. Blow, harder,/Freddie said, then showed me." In this new collection, Smith (Brightwood) celebrates his first blues, his first harmonica, and the lore and the lure of his South. The title refers to more than the music, the outsider art. It also references history, both personal and public; landscapes; and the intangibles of culture. Dividing the book into three sections, Smith considers the painful story of racial intolerance, investigates the curious people and circumstances surrounding John Wilkes Booth, and explores the roots of traditional music. In narratives and lyrics both, with a wonderful ear and a feel for crisp, clean language, Smith brings life to a rich childhood and its setting: "Dog days, flat heat, the sky tight/as a Holiness tambourine. I am walking the road/gouged out to make way for Saddle Ridge Acres/and mourning the slaughter of timber,/but someone down the bulldozed slope/is striking true notes like fireflies in the August air." Highly recommended.