Stranger in Town

By Cedar Sigo b. 1978 Cedar Sigo
Life in
       collapse, Let tuneful praise ascend
                                Not a single line
                    out of step with my band, aboard
                    the riverboat
          when the sun
                      shown red
and especially dark upon my room
                                           I was shown
                                                          to 3464
                                                     once Jack Lon
                                            I was told.
         The black forest alcohols
                       filled my mind, my one & only skull
                                   with rock crystal
                       (The Butchers Field)
 Its grass &
the stream
          cut my rooms in 3. I write & I laugh
                                    to think again upon the stream,
                                                             its demon
                                                      black mask
                                                lights under-
                            My servants stay fine
                                  lower their eyes
                 I proclaim the empire, my coat of arms
                                  & cigarettes
                                                to be held across
                 façades of cathedrals, crimson the flight.
                                        More than one death
                                  from a square
                                                     bottled ink
                                     The MARVEL brand
                   I enjoy reading signs
                                       through the fog—
                               -HOTEL HUNTINGTON-
Then that evening
    and all of
             Fox Plaza  was the same white
                             A permanent
                                    on my blue bike
                                    I raise my hood
                I think there are other lost men
in surrounding blocks
                             alike in their thinking
                          “There is
                                  no other man
     to enjoy
               such fog
     besides me.”          to wander tracks
                                    in clear
                                  star cut
                                 I am sorry I said
                                                      he was
                                                already high
                   We got so high together
                   and I forgot to say
                                           I had invested a lot
                                                                     in my first
                                       the greatest
                                             single file
                                             best roulette
                         There’s a bad moon
                                                     on the rise and I’ve got
                         quite a stash
                                      rubbings from the calligram
                                                                  I have explained their
                                                   hollows and brick
                                             a cross where it is written in
                                                    YOUNG BLOOD STRAIGHT EDGE
                              Impossibly accurate                 the fifth wristwatch
                                                           on the 12
                                     I have reached the cave    it has been
                                                                   shot up.
                                 & I am punished to this day
                                                            ruby under
                                         My name goes first.

Cedar Sigo, "Stranger in Town" from Stranger in Town, City Lights Spotlight No. 4. Copyright © 2010 by Cedar Sigo.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.

Source: Stranger in Town (City Lights Books, 2010)

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Poet Cedar Sigo b. 1978

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Living, The Body, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Cities & Urban Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Cedar  Sigo


San Francisco poet Cedar Sigo was born February 2, 1978. He was raised on The Suquamish reservation near Seattle Washington and home schooled from the eighth grade onward. In 1995 he was awarded a scholarship to study writing and poetics at The Naropa Institute in Boulder Colorado where he studied with Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Lisa Jarnot, Alice Notley, and Joanne Kyger, among other poets.  He has lived in San Francisco . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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