Suicide Townlisten

i. m. Ray Pospisil

Across the city, computer screens flash on--
in Brooklyn brownstones, littered sties of dorms,
Midtown offices, and Inwood flats.
Another day begins, a steely blue,
and we're above it, talking to ourselves
in tones of clacking keyboard strokes, our eyes
straining at the missives that we write
to cyberspace, expecting no reply.

Suicide town! Where unsung poets write
quarterly reports or articles
about the latest merger in Japan
or theses on the recent politics
of places that they fled to end up here--
bored, with just a screen for company.

New York, New York! Or Staten Island, Queens,
the Bronx, or Brooklyn, and far too many trains
with suicide lighting flickering on faces
until we look like corpses in the gloom,
pallid, with a laminate of sweat
glistening as we slump against the seats.

Sunset. Jersey glowers to the west.
Apartments echo a cacophony
of daydreams, words of love we only speak
into a pillow, and the tangled plots
of novels still unwritten, while our lives
are lived alone--and lonely--like a farce
without the comedy, until we slip,
drunk and murmuring, into our beds.

by Quincy Lehr

Quincy R. Lehr was raised in Norman, Oklahoma in the U.S., attended the University of Texas and Columbia University (where he completed his doctorate) and presently lives in Galway, Ireland, where he teaches history. Before moving to Ireland, he hosted the Modern Metrics series, and he still serves as co-editor of Modern Metrics Press. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming in journals in the United States, Britain, Ireland, and Australia, including Iambs & Trochees, The Dark Horse, The Raintown Review, and WOW! Magazine. He has a chapbook, William Montgomery (Modern Metrics, 2006), and his first book of poetry, Across the Grid of Streets, was published by Seven Towers in April 2008, along with an accompanying chapbook, William Montgomery's Guide to New York City.

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