Archive | June, 2019

Mary Langer Thompson | Koko’s offerings and other poems

Koko’s Offerings For Helen Jung Oh She used to bring gifts to the nearby cathedral– oranges, apples, and sometimes exactly fifty-six dollars. The tiny woman would approach the altar in high platform shoes, black and yellow striped tights and blue eye shadow smudged upward like wings and bow her head, then raise her tightly-wound money scroll high before placing it in the velvet-lined collection plate. Now, behind the doughnut shop […]

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Greg Zeck | Homeless I Have Known

Professor’s Walk For Ted Wright Don’t fuck with me, I’ve got a gun, said the homeless man to the professor who, wandering a patch of desert scrub, saw the black snub pointing at him. Considering his options, whether wit was in order here, either blandishment or rodomontade, perhaps a Shakespeare quote chucked deftly in, he inched back warily, divining in a quick critical reading — the unshaved man, the anus […]

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Charles Halsted | Same species

His supplicant hands clasped as in prayer, head fully hooded, face barely seen, a thin pinkish blanket over his back, he’s barely protected from winter cold, invisible to the disdainful suits ten feet away who march with fixed purpose, carefully avoid even a sideways glance toward this hopeless, helpless specimen, same species, but not their kind. The solid steel bucket sits two feet away, possibly stolen, most likely lined with […]

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J. Weintraub | Mr. Ledbetter misses his stop

When Mr. Ledbetter staggered into our southbound Red Line train and announced for anyone aboard to hear, “I want to get off at Harrison, somebody let me know when we get to Harrison,” I had a pretty good idea where he was headed. Standing on South State Street between Harrison and Polk,  the Pacific Garden Mission had ministered to the needs of Chicago’s down-and-out and destitute for over eighty years […]

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