The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Craig McDaniel

Unwanted Attention






Craig McDaniel

Love Songs for the Accordion


         The old musician gently touches the green and white piano keys with his
left hand (the wedding band a dull buttery yellow on the ring finger). His right
hand, with a strong wrist, controls the bellows.
        Stopping at table four, Eugenio plays an ancient love song. The young
couple listen, their mouths full of pasta – are they Norwegian? Dutch? – they
smile, mildly embarrassed. Such strong emotions. The table feels unsteady, the
candle flickers.
        When the last melody melts into silence, Eugenio nods solemnly at the
couple, then heads slowly across the restaurant to the door: like a new husband
carrying his bride across the honeymoon threshold, the accordion falling open
wildly in his arms




CRAIG McDANIEL is the product of a peripatetic childhood – growing up in Naples (Italy), New York City, Houston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. He received MFAs in creative writing (University of Montana) and painting (Ohio State University). Publications include volumes co-authored with Jean Robertson, including: Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980 (Oxford University Press). Forthcoming: an essay in The Midwest Quarterly and experimental writing in an anthology from Cincinnati Review. Other essays, poems, and artworks have appeared in New England Review, Gettysburg Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and others.​



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