- These are more recent winners. For more winning poems see "Selected Poems" -
Fifteen, we sang harmony
by the elevator on the lower level where
the acoustics made us sound gothic, flutish,
sound like road trips, microphones
and Stratocasters. We were peasant shirts,
tie-dyed, sandaled, about to smoke
cigarettes and meet guys in the park,
reek of dime bags, and fringed
jackets. We were patchouli oil,
Dead Heads, moody,
blue, and sex. We were choices
about to be made. Afraid
from all the wanting, we sang
of freedom we craved, feared, already had;
of roads miles away, and someone to miss us.
what did we know of loss? what did we know
of roads miles away and someone to miss us?
We sang like the Haights and Ashburys,
like something was about to burst
open in us, spread like pollen
among flowers applauding in parks,
our long hair parted in the middle,
earth style, earth in our shoes,
reaching up in us. Nothing yet polluted.
We sang like wind sweetened
with cannabis and chance, the train whistle's
harmony, deep and throaty,
sang the way park-dogs worked
on Frisbees, leaping, grabbing, offering,
offering, we sat on the floor near the elevator
pulling the sea-soaked air into our lungs,
pretending, preaching, singing,
singing about surviving something
we hadn't yet hazarded, neither homeless
nor forsaken, just five hundred miles from home.
Five hundred miles. Five hundred miles.
Honorable Mention - 2010 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards