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A Few Miles Off

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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)
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A Few Miles Off

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