A Few Miles Off

By Micah Ballard b. 1975 Micah Ballard
Too many are leaving
     usually they greet in sleep before dashing
as in today with this gentleman
     (awkward not to type his name)
when yesterday in the shower
     I remembered his face in Aardvark
something about NWA but not about them
     just a played reference
There were newspaper clips
     all police brutality, all framed with snow
& I vaguely recalled something
     about Uma Thurman & the Menils
when the guard ushered me out
     for touching the African sculptures
I waited in the lobby for hours
     like this morning reading
that he overdosed. It was a hotel
     & I didn’t even know him
I don’t even know his work

Micah Ballard, "A Few Miles Off" from Waifs and Strays, City Lights Spotlight No. 6. Copyright © 2011 by Micah Ballard.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.

Source: Waifs and Strays (City Lights Books, 2011)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Micah Ballard b. 1975


Subjects Living, Death, Arts & Sciences, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, Popular Culture

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Micah  Ballard


Poet Micah Ballard was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and earned an MA and MFA from the New College of California. He studied with poet Joanne Kyger and has written about John Wieners; the influence of the San Francisco Renaissance poets can be seen in his work. He has published a number of chapbooks, including Absinthian Journal (2002), Bettina Coffin (2003), In the Kindness of Night (2003), Evangeline Downs (2006), and Poems . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Micah Ballard

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Arts & Sciences, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, Popular Culture


Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.