"But first, baby, as you climb and count the stairs (and they total the same), did you, sometime or somewhere, have a different idea?
Is this, baby, what you were born to feel, and do, and be?"

-Kenneth Fearing

Friday, December 30, 2011

After Your Last Appointment


At the corner of Essex and Main

in a cold winter month

you hold signed papers in your hands,

and stand beneath the two street signs.

Cars rush by like separated pieces of a train,

almost pulling you after them,

this way, that way, this way

like everything always has,

everything on the way here,

until this job, this girl, this place, this time.

You’re seeing how wide the street is,

how much it can hold in one place,

all the lives that pass and disappear

in the minutes where you wait

until there is nothing between you

and where you parked.


                                -Brent Allard

Friday, December 16, 2011

Driving Back From Hollywood


Traffic was crawling.
I knew we’d be stuck for hours,
gaining inches at a time.
You asked me what I thought.
I said, “Different, than I expected.”

The stars on the street didn’t shine.
The musicians played for change,
and the town didn’t seem to know
that it leaves you dirty.

My thoughts were broken up,
sighting a traffic obstruction;
A truck had spilled a load of lemons,
covering the road with yellow skin,
crushed by many tires into something like steam
that flooded the nostrils of everyone driving through,
like a hanging air freshener magnified
thousands of strengths.

As much as we hated traffic,
nobody honked their horn
or cursed for quite some time.
The scent was too strong to focus
on anything other than lemon pulp
and yellow peels as far as we could see,
crushed against the highway,
sour and broken and clean.

                                -Brent Allard