John Whalen, Blue Man, Morning
Acrylic on canvas

Stoned on gravel and fog,

Wrong-way skidding down one-way streets,

I learned to drive sideways on ice.

Never knew where I was headed—

That dead color, that blank opera.

Learned to hug my anger

Against rare good days

Until thoughts of home

Crashed into a box that fit inside

A bigger box and so on.

As the rest of the pilgrims

At the border crossing crowded around

The woman who had tied

A crocodile around her waist,

I tiptoed past the gate.

The bridge bullied me across

The blind black river.

O, I’ve limped miles since last we rioted these streets.

John Whalen