This is not a postcard from hell. No, this
postcard has proper postage. This postcard
guaranteed by U.S. Mail, guaranteed
safe passage, safe arrival, content safe.
Scrawled message, “…token of a great day,” scrawled
beside one cent Ben Franklin stamp behind
picture of teaming downtown Dallas, picture
taken one Thursday, lunch hour, picture taken:
old Negro hanging beneath Elk’s Arch, old
dead Allen Brooks stripped naked, beaten dead
before he hung. Clothes snatched as trophies before
photographer captured his photograph.
They said he raped a three year old girl. They
said courtroom justice was too slow. They said
hanging was proper work. God’s work was hanging.
Body dark, helpful arrow drawn to body.
Crowd deep in front of camera, two in crowd
look back. They have the father and son look.
Lester Graves Lennon was born and raised in New Rochelle, New York. Prior to becoming poetry editor for Rosebud magazine he was an investment banker whose career in public finance spanned more than 40 years. His first book of poetry, The Upward Curve of Earth and Heavens, was published when he was 54, and can be found in 70 public and university libraries including UC Berkeley, Yale, Oxford and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received his B.A. in English.His second book of poetry, My Father Was a Poet, was published in 2013. He recently completed his third book, Lynchings: Postcards from America, scheduled to be published by WordTech Communications in January, 2022.Mr. Lennon sits on the board of directors of the Community of Writers and is a member of the Board of Visitors for the English Department at the University of Wisconsin. He was part of a group of poets that selected the Poets’ Prize, awarded to the best poetry book by an American author published in the previous year.He is a past member of the board of directors for Red Hen Press and the Poetry Center at West Chester University.He is a founding member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Poet Laureate Task Force and lives with his family in the Los Angeles megalopolis.
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