RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Mar 28

Poem of the Week 3/28/2017

Janet Kolstein

The Bright and Shadow Years

When The City was new to me,
I swung Chagall-like through the streets,
coffee shops, nightclubs,
and one-of-a-kind boutiques,
as if strangers were accessories
to my fantasy.

Sometimes, I was a lonely mouse
in a Twinkie factory,
hustling around the pine floors
for crumbs and a foothold
in the post-industrial door.

I had to find a job, a new job,
a society of apple-picking experts,
a hand-painted company of cards,
an historic date, fleshy and ripe.

Dirty pay phones reached their pinnacle.
Go-sees and meet me’s
with cherry-red canticles,
the libertine’s sewer breath
perfumed as ambition.

Invaders flashing smiles
were unsure of what to do,
leaning into the gilded lanes
on the oily fluid of rapid change.

How is it after years spent running
for a bus, a taxi, a subway,
a dollar, a dime, a dream,
I finally became concerned
with the pace of my slow ascent,
and barely even made a dent
in the vaulted ceiling.

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