I have sought the elusive aroma Around outlying cornfields, turned corners Near the site of a Civil War surrender. The transformation may take place At a pit no wider than a grave, Behind a single family’s barn. These weathered ministers Preside with the simplest of elements: Vinegar and pepper, split pig and fire. Underneath a glistening mountain in air, Something is converted to a savor: the pig. Flesh purified by far atmosphere. Like the slick-sided sensation from last summer, A fish pulled quick from a creek By a boy. Like breasts in a motel With whiskey and twilight Become a blue smoke in memory. This smolder draws the soul of our longing.
I want to see all the old home folks, Ones who may not last another year. We will rock on porches like chapels And not say anything, their faces Impenetrable as different barks of trees. After the brother who drank has been buried, The graveplot stunned by sun In the woods, We men still living pass the bottle. We barbecue pigs. The tin-roofed sheds with embers Are smoking their blue sacrifice Across Carolina.
-James Applewhite James Applewhite: Selected Poems, 2005
We’re pleased to share our newest short film, Archibald’s, made by Wes Wages of Armosa Films. Head to Northport, Alabama, where you’ll meet George Archibald Jr., his sister Paulette Washington, and her son Woodrow Washington. Their family has been in the barbecue business since 1962. The tiny establishment just a stone’s throw from Tuscaloosa is famous in Alabama and beyond for its pit-smoked ribs and sliced pork butt.