Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Beat in Concord – v2 - 2

I was sitting in traffic, waiting for the light
the heat and humidity building in the van,
one window open to moist air after flooding
only there for a moment, in shadows
under the highway, waiting for light

I saw a character, a caricature,
a man out of time on the sidewalk,
below the underpass, half in shadow
He was a beat, a throwback, caught in time
not a Ginsberg, no he wouldn’t Howl,
a modern day Kerouac

It was his gait, a slouched walk
his hair, his clothes, bath sandals worn outside too long
oversized thrift store blazer, elbows patched
over a frock prom shirt, frilled, cranberry edging
hunched shoulders, time spent in dimly lit libraries,
before glowing computer screens, shaded lamps

I could sense the latte on his breath
scent of clove cigarettes in the wool of his coat
too warm for the day around him, sweltering
a mop of coarse black hair
hadn’t seen a brush in days
sunken eyes, and a certainty, a deep knowing
he’d written lines far darker than these
words that would confuse and provoke
unfairness of the mundane, inertia
bleakness of his bourgeois existence
unaware of his place, his role in the intelligentsia

A yawn at the coffee house, or maybe a demigod
reading the lines he might have written
hard to say from across the street
driving by his path, for those few brief seconds
before my light went green and I went on down the road
away from the college-aged, but no-longer-in-college beat
there, on the Concord street

edited April 16, 2015
A Beat in Concord – v7
(editing version 4)
Edited October 19, 2013
“A Beat in Concord – v6”
Edited July 2, 2013
“A Beat in Concord – v5”
based on original version
further edits June 30, 2012
A Beat in Concord – v4
(turning the poem to the present tense)
further edits June 30, 2012
A Beat in Concord – v3
further edited June 6, 2012 (with edited by Elisha and Marshall Burns)
A Beat in Concord – v2 - 2
edited June 6, 2012
A Beat in Concord – v2
written May 18, 2006 5:59pm
A Beat in Concord
written about someone I saw under the Exit 14 underpass, Concord, NH

All of my poems, photographs, and videos are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. All rights are reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss ( for usage. See all 42,950 of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

air, breath, coffee, colors, Concord NH, cranberry, driving, eyes, house, light, love, path, Poetry Where You Live, Raymond A. Foss, sandals, senses, smells, walking, memories, depression, college,

#breath #coffee #colors #ConcordNH #driving #eyes #light #path #poetry #senses #smells #walking #memories #depression

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