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07 April, 2015: citytalk


by Mark Kuhar
when the city talks to itself
it whispers barely audible
curses, mumbled prayers,
words that sound foreign,
eastern ethnic african
dialects, the city talks to
itself & sings softly, a voice —
song of sad beautiful
things, of artwork slashing
across lake erie horizons,
a hypnotized reverence
for all things wooden, careless,
calm, restricted, uplifting,
the city talks to itself &
answers back in a yell
of clinging uncertainty,
a groundswell of words
that clip the tip of
the terminal tower,
swirl around the jake
like a drain, citytalk that
surfaces in waterbubbles,
bursting, cleveland,
just to say you’re home

“citytalk” by Mark Kuhar from Cleveland Poetry Scenes. Bottom Dog Press, 2008. Used by permission of the author.

Mark S. Kuhar is a writer, poet, editor, publisher, artist and songwriter. In addition to many anthology publications, he has published five chapbooks, most recently Universe Gone Dancing (2013). He has read his work on WCPN and founded “the deep cleveland poetry hour,” a live monthly spoken-word event. He is also the proprietor of deep cleveland LLC, which includes deep cleveland press, a small-press publishing company, and deep cleveland junkmail oracle, a literary e-zine dedicated to the spirit of legendary Cleveland outlaw poet, artist and underground publisher d.a. levy. He holds a BA in English, with a specialization in Creative Writing, from Ohio University.


Metaphors paint a vivid picture through exaggeration.

Compose a poem about Cleveland, in which you use five metaphors comparing Cleveland to something else.

Janice Krusoczky
Nice poem, Mark!
4/7/2015 1:30:50 PM

Mary Turzillo
Mark has given us a really magical poem. It fits the mood of the city so well. Thanks for great writing, Mark!
4/7/2015 12:51:32 PM

Diane Kendig
While some metaphors "paint a vivid picture through exaggeration," some metaphors paint it through understatement...or just paint it. I don't think it's necessary to exaggerate in the response.
4/7/2015 9:37:54 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.