Saturday, February 23, 2013

Joel Lewis


Foggy St. George sleeps the sleep
of late morning sloth
& there go the men with boyish haircuts.
Now a cop car parks on Slosson Terrace,
idling for those possessed by hidden agendas.

“The sun never enters my dreams,” says
a woman to her daughter clutching
a Top Tomato bag as they board
a Totenville bus. A peddler hawks
mini-Ganeshas in front
of the browning field minor league stadium
in advance of an evening festival.

Big orange Ferryboat Marchi drifts into Slip 2.
Two hours before: a Mesopotamia of advancing ankles.
Now old gents eat their pizzas into relief maps of Crete
before tossing them into the harbour.

The flags atop borough hall flap
to the beat of a new round of breeze.
I’ve been out here a long time
mildly defending the honour
of minor characters & their mild situations
& now moving along in the face of need,
cattycorner from the old lighthouse depot.

Joel Lewis hails from the Newfoundland of the United States — New Jersey. He's perched on the Hudson in Hoboken trying to continue an alternative poetics tradition that ranges from Philip Freneau to Walt Whitman, Newark's Stephen Crane, William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Alfred Starr Hamilton, and Joe Ceravolo. Recent books are Surrender When Leaving Coach (Hanging Loose) and North River Rundown (Accent Editions). He edited an anthology of contemporary NJ poets for Rutgers, the selected talks of Ted Berrigan, and the selected poems of Walter Lowenfels.

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