Collective Unrest

 

Somewhere Off 13,

October 17, 2018

the streetlights resign themselves to darkness
cracked pavement makes its way up the block
an avenue of loss, of lots, abandoned by everyone
except the spray cans
new tags over old ones, each cleaner
than the piece previous, recently displaced by fresh paint
I make my way through a neighborhood plagued by war

take your pick which one

I come upon a man
his coat, as aged as his face,
lurching over 23rd street
reaching for something—
as I drove closer, I could see
the empty bassinet he was rocking,
putting to sleep some demon or memory

as a half-smile crawled across his face,
I couldn’t tell if he was really happy,
I couldn’t tell if he was saying someone’s name
I couldn’t tell you much about him

only that he held himself
the way one holds back tears

 

Brennan DeFrisco is a poet, spoken word artist & educator from the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s been a National Poetry Slam finalist, a runner-up for the Drake University Emerging Writer Award, and Grand Slam Champion of the Oakland Poetry Slam. He’s the author of A Heart With No Scars (Nomadic Press) and has served as Poetry Editor on the masthead of Lunch Ticket. He facilitates writing and performance workshops as a teaching artist through California Poets In The Schools, Bay Area Creative, Writopia Labs, and Poetry Out Loud. His work has been published in Words Dancejmww journalButton PoetryGemini, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.

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