Graffiti

By Rosanna Warren b. 1953 Rosanna Warren
Kitty Goes Kommando and the Goldman Rats — Phooey!
That blue scaffolding holds up the sky. Who did we think
we were padlocking in, or out? Give me that huge
looping black script no one can read, a secret glyph,
and just where someone has smashed the window, Jesus
the Way the Truth the Life and a dented aluminum frame.
He bent down, we know, and wrote something illegible on the ground.
A toothy black-and-white dinosaur gapes. I like the crack
in this wall of monsters where skylines topple and ogres
twiddle train tracks in their claws like pipe cleaners.
Down the long, semi-abandoned street in Queens
calligraphy gallops toward the shop displaying,
like guitar strings, seven different iron rods
for gates. Hole in the wall, rose sound-hole,
ribbed sounding board — always from fissures and gaps
melody strains as trains thunderclank across
the girdered overpass, a siren keens, and a solitary man
ambles past amputated acacias fisting out with leaves.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2014).

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2014

Biography

Rosanna Warren was born in Fairfield, Connecticut to a pair of writers: Robert Penn Warren, a major poet and novelist, and Eleanor Clark, a prize-winning author of criticism, fiction, and travel books. A professor of comparative literature at Boston University, editor, and literary translator, she has published four books of poetry. Her work, which ranges between the rhapsodic and cerebral, shows a deep and abiding interest in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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