Parallel Parking Olympics (a poem)

If there was ever a Parallel Parking Olympics

it’d be in South Philly

cars jam into microscopic spots

enough to cause anxiety

but you, with your back-up camera

squeeze in like it’s no big deal

this shit is real!

parking spots are like gold

circle the block like a vulture

starving, on the prowl

maybe you’ll get lucky

find a spot front-and-center

(Photo by Cali Riffee on Unsplash)

City of Dogs (a short story)

Cindy parked her work truck in the shade by a McDonald’s and took a big bite out of her Quarter Pounder. Her lunch breaks were always interrupted by phone calls — the endless calls from dispatchers. Today was no different.

When her phone rang, she turned down the Brad Paisely song on her radio.

 “Hey, sunshine,” said Marcus, the dispatcher. “Feel like catching any more dogs today?”

It wasn’t the call Cindy wanted to get. But at least it wasn’t the call, the one she constantly feared getting.

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Infiltrating the Network (a poem)

Who is behind the curtain?

Is Portia a super-intelligent AI autocrat –

or is there a murkier figure behind her avatar

hidden in dank data centers of Techno-City?

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New Facts (a prose poem)

History is collective memory, and it’s always subject to correction.

It’s written by winners, whether daughters of despots or democrats. They build bronze statues that inform us of what happened, who’s calling the shots, who owns the space you occupy.

As the city convulses, an ex-mayor’s monument is fractured, beat to the ground. Our historical texts must be rewritten, newspaper editors must be removed, the revolution must be televised and live streamed to your social media feeds, and you must forget what you’ve learned because

there are new facts.

(Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash)

The Faceless Woman (a poem)

The faceless woman chases me through vacant city streets –

lights on in every home, but no one’s there,

just us, running in dreadful silence

my heart beats so fast it feels as if it’ll burst

from my sunken chest, plop on black concrete +

continue to beat to the rhythm of the pulsing ground,

as a brilliant moon looms above, hangs over us,

shines blinding light on my ghostly skin –

I’m living in sin + if the woman catches me,

I’ll surely suffocate + gurgle black blood

from a wicked mouth –

No! my mouth is gone, covered by slimy skin,

+ I’m gone, in her cold grasp at last,

the world collapses inside of me +

I wake as a newborn in some

distant jungle landscape.

(Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash)

Equality (a poem)

Who said this was the Land of the Free?

They must’ve been joking, because since them days,

there have been slaves, and even when the chains

broke, the Klan came from dark woods in hoods

and burned crosses – fires crackling in fields,

reflecting in frightened eyes.

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Escaping from the Nightmare (a poem)

Thank you for helping me escape from the nightmare –

I thought I’d never be free from the cold cell in my mind,

where the warden stood silent outside – where yellow-eyed

rats scurried from dark corners and ate my supper – where

every day was a dark winter’s afternoon, and drifts of cold air

blew through barred windows, and I shivered in rags on the

dirt floor. Thank you: I have my freedom now, and I will march

the city streets, demanding freedom for the others, the ones

also imprisoned by the nightmare.

(Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash)