Paul Siegell's work has appeared in 5AM, Shampoo, Moria, The Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette, will appear in the upcoming GHOTI, and in the 2008 Anthology
of Younger Poets. His first manuscript, jambandbootleg, is currently calling
out, "Whooo's got my publisher?" while strolling through a concert parking
lot with a pointer finger in the air. Meet me at Will Call, indeed.
Discarded, the folded bat wing of a spent umbrella
accepts the rain, lighter than last night, beside a mailbox.
Umbrella rods like ribs, silvery rays, shining in honesty:
What qualms do we have about using a thing to death?
Next to a half-full and latticed trash basket, the eagle, blue
and arch of the US Postal Service drips to the sidewalk,
and the first item on the menu of the nearby lunch cart
wiz wit's, "PHILLY" CHEESE STEAK.
Taxis fling. Buses barrel. A jaywalker's exit does not
exist, quickly steps back to the curb. SUVs blocks the box.
Everywhere, silent, the DNA machines are unzipping and
duplicating elaborations, cells of consumption and waste,
the eloquence of what-the-shit-is-all-this? and the over-
whelming walls of beauty and beauty and billboards:
Sean John raised in a fist. Softer hands unzipping a male
model in designer jeans - There's even one for JDate:
Lights. Grandeur. Rapture. Cameras. Horn honks. Terror
Alerts - Action. When will I look past all the advertising?
In the center island, 46th & 7th. Goose points up, "That's
where the ball drops." I've been here a dozen times, but
never really stopped in it. A Hell's Kitchen resident and
an A.E. a block east, none of it impresses him anymore.
Gotham's tourists always get in the way - "Goose, do you
hear that?" A faithful tone, eerily tireless - "What is that?"
From a grate to the tunnels, as if the preternatural bell had
been rung just once and persisted, trembling into modernity,
Yom Kippur's Wednesday night and tomorrow's Goose's
birthday. We're the same age again. "Sounds like a high-
pitched didgeridoo," he says. If that's right, it turns us into
when it rains: folks
spread open /
umbrellas / streets
/ fill with rounded /
chance / to catch /
the bride's bouquet
Guarding the Unparkable
Upon the urban board of possible moves in Philadelphia,
along the routes surrounding the Vivid the Glass the Steeples,
the treasured Central Business District square feet:
tower One Liberty Place king tower Two Liberty Place queen,
an army of black-painted knights - nay, a city-sprawling cavalry
of horse-headed hitching and no-parking posts
line the sidewalks of the grid with battle in their statuesque eyes:
"Don't you dare, the $3.50 for every 1/3 hour lot is up the street.
Neigh, pawn, don't you dare."
to answer the new interview
--for the mere rose
lineless, rusty hooked,
am I a crippled fisherman?
a whisper to a pyramid?
a flaccid ax, a cuddly snake,
a saw with teeth as false as leaves?
you know no vampire could compare -
addlepated, just a mess, traveling
until I drown - Hold Up:
All this flexed intensity, maneuvering
like the chess I've played with my checkbook,
is it because I haven't done this, written like this,
as if calling on my pocket's remaining change
to trade for something actually necessary
in a while? Or, am I just reacting
to a certain theatric event?
Spun around, humbled, devastated, yet
I collect jobs as well as I quit them.
Back to Front.