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Friday, November 20, 2009


by David Chorlton

Between a plane out of Georgia
and his connection
to Las Vegas, a passenger in Phoenix
wears a T-shirt with the words
Keep the South Beautiful
Put a Yankee on the Bus
beneath the confederate flag.
When incivility takes off

there’s no telling where
it will land. Maybe route seventeen
where a young man has music
turned loud enough for me
to hear through his earphones
and the only word I discern
is bitch, growing longer
each time until it is biiiiitch. Look away

and there’s a woman
who chose for today
a shade just grey of blue
with her message to humanity:
I’m busy
Your (sic) ugly
Have a nice Day
Sometimes it isn’t even words,

but a crucifix that blazes
on its chain
where it says Believe,
believe or get out of the way.

David Chorlton watches the world from central Phoenix where he lives and writes. Sometimes, though, he rides buses. His new chapbook, From the Age of Miracles, appears this summer from Slipstream Press as the winner of its latest competition.