Short Train Poem for Pop


No one liked
the black licorice
shipped by the American
Licorice Company

but the red
which is not licorice
yes, I had enough
for the whole class.

Flares were our
4th of July
dynamite, tho Pop
once stole two cherry bombs

the neighbor pissed
but Pop got away w/ it
this was the lesson
he left, and the train.

And the Slaughter
air it dopples
in the wily
summer night

Ricochets off the West
Hill dawn shuddering
the sun-fed Scotch Broom
in May.

Silver ribbons of sound
veering around plums
preparing to litter
the August ground.

A pause at the Whistle
Stop Cafe, no real
poet seeks to compete
w/ &

catch an Amtrak
to L.A. or change
taken from the diner car
table the four year old

(really five) takes
unknowing the concept
of tips, if the Amtrak
is a person

as much as people are
if the horse can be iron
and birth new
velocities of Slaughter

if train horns counterpoint
the Slaughter night
w/ Lester Young and if what
she said is true:

at the start of every
nightmare waits a train
we've all a train horn
inside us few ever stop to hear.


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