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Along Storm Drains

12 April, 2019: Along Storm Drains



by Zenaida Smith
For Erin                     
It is noon and a group of children
Walking with their mommy spot
Two others of a separate party
Across the street and
It is four in the morning the night prior
I know you are reading me
Over a glass of rosé coupled with my
Five cigarettes, the clock
Is ticking down on the final
Minutes pushed back
And you wonder what wonder
I’ll be inspired to kill and taxidermy
On the page, in Chicago
And I wonder too, what wonder
Will happen to faint at my feet, what
Wonder will be sought out and seduced by me
What introspective sentence might
Bare knuckle box me
In the unforeseen moments expressly transported
By that which bears us on old sentiments
Like ships downing canals of new
Words, new tastes, new
Coffee cups, and their first introduction
To my lipstick
What could match it, though?
Your bare feet in the middle of Lorain Avenue
Walking in the rivers made up
For our enjoyment in a split second
Off your tongue, encouraging
The orange encompassing of street lamps
Casting a sordid spotlight on your heels as you walk
To your car, as those children meet
Not over ten, any of them
At noon on a Sunday
On the corner of 80th and Detroit
Like church but
In joy, there is no beautiful moment
That can eclipse a beautiful moment
“Along Storm Drains” by Zenaida Smith, from Siding With Desire. Outlandish Press, 2018. Used by permission of the author. 
Zenaida Smith has been writing poetry for five years too long. She is the author of several unmentionable works, the most recent of which is Siding With Desire from Outlandish Press. Poetry is the fabric of her world, and it is very itchy. You can find more of her work on Instagram.


Take a famous line and rewrite it with the opposite of each word in the line. Then write a poem with the new line. For example, “Because I could not stop for death” might become “Notwithstanding you could begin past life.” Stuck? Try, “My life had stood a loaded gun.”

N. K. Hasen
The Nightmare Remained At Daylight

Original line: The dream crossed twilight between birth and dying
New line: The nightmare remained at daylight far from ending and continuing

The nightmare remained at daylight far from ending and continuing
As he was aboard a ship being tossed all around
For a storm had in wee early hours had begun
In his sleep he dreamed of storm
Only to wake from his nightmare to real thing
He grabbed a hold of what stayed secure
Held on to dear life he did
Hoping ragging storm outside his cabin would end
4/25/2019 8:05:39 PM

"Do not go gentle into that good night." - Dylan Thomas
Rush headlong away from the morning.
4/14/2019 8:03:50 PM

“My life had stood a loaded gun” Dickinson

Your Death will fell an empty defense
4/12/2019 3:45:09 PM

"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold." (T.S. Eliot)

Nothing overcomes with a single voice: a border can liberate.
4/12/2019 1:31:43 PM

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.