Everything for Sale

America’s greatest living poet dines
on over-easy eggs and over-done hash browns across from a Sir
Lawrence platinum fryer in Jimmy’s, the greasy spoon of
Fells Point, that swinging port of Baltimore’s finest,

and, in conversing with a Miami homicide
detective turned Carnival cruise PI at the
linoleum counter, our poet appraises an outdated
gold watch, a gambler’s smile pressed in brown eyes,
stories of overboard spouses, matter of fact, drowning like
French toast smothered in syrup; cooks in whites and blacks
short on order, hustling. People lined up, an endless
bristling behind the counter seats; a rich tango of waitresses, plates,
hungry red mouths. Everything a sizzling sound.

More eggs stacked high in cartons. Our poet hears one man yell
“It’s Free!” to no one and all. Everything is in butter. Everything
is dazzling –  ready to be snatched up and sold.


(Written in 2016 in the old Jimmy’s Diner in Fells Point, Baltimore, MD)


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6 years ago – and the poetry

Hard to believe this all started 6 years ago. To all my poetry lovers out there – THANK YOU! And I’m sorry for the neglect… but I’m back 🙂 #JustPressSend

I found the words while
cleaning. They were
hiding in a corner I never visit anymore,
in a house I neglect,
their edges yellowing, those once
tall Ts slumped, bowled over by
gravity, and between tiny spaces,
weeds now rooted, all but
wrecking the leading, so many lines askew.

what a mess, a holy mess,
but the point is – I found them.

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rain and Canadian pennies

If, when walking to a window
to view rain in shiny opaque sheets,
you find a Canadian penny
sitting on the sill,

is it still good luck?

Or are you more alone than ever
because the world is washing away
and even lucky charms
are foreign –

Or are we luckier than we realize?
Maybe we should thank our fellow
traveler for such a token of a
big and shining world.

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Backbones unfurled

In the east we paint
rebelliously, our backbones
Unfurled. Trains, unaware
Hum low tones “I’m here,
I’m here.”


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Filed under Baltimore, conceptual, Uncategorized, work

Celebrate Impermanence

Celebrate impermanence;
wash your upturned face in scents
like shadows, harbor, industry, earth;
let autumn slant and shimmer
until all becomes a checkered dock.

Grab tight the world and squeeze in familiar
desperation – then
relax and open up.

Celebrate Impermanence

Celebrate Impermanence

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Without a road taken, Vegas Appears

And here I am over Colorado, racing towards Vegas,
and the cracked red lands, and the lights of a buzzing Oasis,
I brought along Kerouac.
He’s made me desperate
to take off and write that way, and live that way, hopping
rides with wild abandon.

Outside clouds pile high on each other, and here I sit,
smashed in the middle,
bursting at the thought:

I read this book 14 years ago
when the country was still unknown to me,
all marked for treasure, Xs and lines and potential on paper.

This was before the country’s heartache,

before constant notifications and
gel manicures, sushi, home ownership, broken marriages,
before GPS and Instagram,

before terrorism even. I was an open road.

Stretching out, clouds settle in, thinning like hair,

I want to visit the Omaha of my grandfather, the wild and raw,
Model T dripping oil, hissing in protest.
He made it to the Hoover Dam and camped out,
he slept under stars that don’t exist anymore because
we’ve swiped them away.

Without a road taken, Vegas appears.

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Comings and Goings by Glenna Luschei #AmericanLifeinPoetry

Like Ted – I also enjoyed this poem greatly – the concept of belongings and how we travel through life, creating new stories, picking things up and then leaving them for someone else…. Enjoy!


American Life in Poetry: Column 549


Glenna Luschei, who makes her home in California, has traveled the world, and like all good poets has paid attention to what she’s seen. Here’s a fine poem not from Cambodia or Greece but from Tucson, about the belongings some of us leave behind for others to carry ahead. It’s from her book, The Sky Is Shooting Blue Arrows, from University of New Mexico Press.

Comings and Goings

In Tucson
when a university student
goes home
she might leave her desk
and a chair, a bookcase outside her cave
with a sign, “Take me.”

And who could resist
heat radiating over furniture
like a mirage? You hoist
an old Victrola into your pickup
and ratchet up a new song.

You start that life in the West,
invent a past, and when that tune
winds down, it’s okay to put out,
“Take me.”

What do we have in life
but comings and goings?

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2014 by Glenna Luschei, “Comings and Goings,” from The Sky Is Shooting Blue Arrows, (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2014). Poem reprinted by permission of Glenna Luschei and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2015 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

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