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.




Vic Writing School

St. Margaret's