On Graceland by Paul Simon by Keri Smith
And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you’re blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow
I was born in South Africa. My parents sailed around the world and as a result, missed almost a whole decade of music. Growing up we just had tapes from artists from the 1970s in one of those wooden tape holders where the top rolled back with a satisfying sliding whoosh. Since I was born in South Africa my mom also had stocked up on tapes from there, my favorite when I was very little being Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling stories. I would listen to the story and their singing of how the leopard got his spots, how the elephant’s trunk got so long…all about that imagined country that I’ve never been back to. So it was probably natural that I ended up loving Paul Simon’s tape of Graceland. It was the grown up version of the tapes I was listening to when I was very young, and it was catchy, and I always associated it with happy memories of my parents, even now, twenty some odd years after their divorce.
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About the Author:
Keri Marinda Smith was born in South Africa in 1985. She grew up in Florida, moving around a lot with her mom before finally settling down in Gainesville after college. She played in punk bands and toured the country for a few years before moving to New York City to attend the New School. She graduated with her MFA in Poetry in 2017, and still lives in Brooklyn where she works as a bartender. Her first book, Dragging Anchor, will be out on Hanging Loose Press this spring.