West of 500

a creative journal

Visiting Troy

Coffee shops at 10 o’clock, music in the crowd;

I got nowhere to go and nowhere to be,

just existing for a minute,

counting heartbeats out-loud.


It was after sun-down, and

the shop was close and warm;

it calmed my frantic mind enough–

I began to write once more.


Words rise up wanting to get out
on the edge the tip of the tongue
darts in out lips are too dry to
form a sound;
Voices swell–joy fury sorrow please come back I never told you my name–
and push
into a great bubble that
burst it sticks at the top of
a quivering throat
a dam
instead of the flowing poetry
gushing free as birds or
butterflies in dreams,
only dreams
are as loud as the silence of an unspoken


The city never sleeps. Of course it doesn’t–there are so many lights, bright yellow, humming orange, rich, blinding white, that many children do not know the color of a moonbeam, nor the deepness of a moon-shadow. Many children have never seen stars. Not really. Many adults have forgotten what they look like. The population lives beneath a haze of insomnia, their inner clocks, having lost all their numbers, tick here there everywhere going neither wise but spinning into a spherical maze of digital geometry, guided by the pulsing glow of a thousand screens flickering in the shadows of street lamps. The cogs are out of sync and out of date and the sandman stands on the corner, holding a sign that reads, “Unemployed, not lazy. Please help.” Nobody ever stops.

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