I am crossing the street
and the cars are coming too fast
as in a cartoon or a dream.
I am crossing the street
When local author Shawn McBride read at the recent Philadelphia Stories’ silent auction, he did what he does best in writing: merge art and humor in an entertaining way. He called up poet Daniel Abdal Hayy-Moore, who had just read from his vast portfolio of work, and asked him to accompany him on autoharp as he read his “Ode to Breasts.” His debut novel, Green Grass Grace, also combines humor and art – coupling lyrical prose with the comedy of raging hormones. The novel rang true to fans and critics alike, and it was selected by Barnes & Noble for its “Discover Great New Writers” series. McBride spoke with Philadelphia Stories about writing, not writing, and his love for Philadelphia.
On the sixth day I tried to forget about you completely and think only of survival while my eyes attempted to focus on the unending blue horizon. But I remembered the things we said we would do if you were here. I told you once I would open a vein for you and watch in erotic delight as you placed your lips around the open wound and transferred my blood to your body.
But even more than music and making art, Sara thrived on sex. For Sara sex was sustenance. There was simply no other word for it. She insisted on getting off once a day, and preferably not at her own hand. It was no accident, then, that she’d shown up at Aislinn’s wearing a plain Hane’s tank top.
Tim never met the world’s gaze, his look always askance. Here, again, someone who’d rather not see. Well, I’d see about that.
“A problem, Tim?”
“That’s a load of crap,” he said. He avoided me, his classmates, choosing the black of the board. I waited and slowly, uncomfortably, he swiveled to face me.
I winked at him and said, “Yeah, Tim. Figures you’d say that. I’ve seen your mother.”
Today must be the day. It’s icy out. February. No berries of any kind to be plucked for waffles. Elroy has his boots on, but still. I know how slick that ice can be. I know how you can be walking steadily and carefully one second, and the next you’re sucked to the ground. I have a vision of falling. Of Elroy’s blood seeping onto the ice for some animal, or worse, a child to find.
The phone calls start. Her mother has taken Evie’s words to heart and calls at least ten times a day. Evie can let the machine pick up at home, but at work, she has to answer. Sometimes, she puts her mother on hold for half an hour at a time, hoping the theme from The Nutcracker playing over and over again will drive her to hang up. No such luck.
I can’t call you: it rained.
you, far off deep dearth space
my voice trailing
left in the birdless wire
washed through and leaking onto them
onto the honeysuckled road
where the freckle-braided girl drips
her sweet hummingbird water
onto the backfence-met boy.
On the shady back porch of his summer home,
Uncle Dan, even and easy like my mother,
constructs a lamp from wooden matchsticks.
Calls me Crisco.
A poem about the night should offer
solace at the end, and, on the way, a list
of images the dark assembles
for our pleasure