Summer 2012

Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 2


Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Reviews   

Rick Mullin


The Poor Boy

At the dedication of a statue
in St. Louis, July 29, 2011

Never mind the profligate’s storied priors.
Tax evasion. Federal teenage traffic.
Maybellene and Johnny B. Goode remember
who did the driving.
Dirty heat at Blueberry Hill this morning,
hear the root beer factory's bang and choogle.
Somewhere Congress struggles to raise the ceiling.
Not in St. Louis.
Let the city councilman sleep til Sunday.
Let the cell phones photograph total strangers
rubbing bronze and ducking the lyric sidewalk,
touching the Gibson.


Green Line to Lechmere

Getting on the subway here at 6:00 AM
I come upon a lighted hall of refugees.
A dormitory. Everything is quiet, grim,
the galley soft and gray with morning effigies.
I interrupt their sleep. A head might rise and fall
among the others as I hang beside the door
uncertain of my destination. Here I call
on numbers, an address, improbable before
these somnolescent passengers, their hair anointed
with the oils of their familiarity
as shoulder-pressed-to-shoulder in their pre-appointed
space they burrow to a regularity
of polyester coats and dirty woolen shrouds.
How passing strange to brush a suit against these clouds.

Boston, April 26, 2012


© Rick Mullin


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