Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Beat in Concord – v7

Sitting in traffic, waiting for the light
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 the light to change
seeing a specter, and apparition.

A character, a caricature,
a man out of time on the sidewalk,
below the underpass, half in shadow
A Beat, a throwback, caught in time,
not a Ginsberg, no he wouldn’t Howl, but
a modern day Kerouac, or one who aspired to be.

Drawn to him, his gait, a slouched walk, tousled hair
his clothes, how he carried himself
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.

A sense of the latte on his breath
languid scent of clove cigarettes in the wool of his coat
too warm for the day around him, sweltering.
A mop of coarse black hair
that hadn’t seen a brush in days
sunken eyes, and a certainty, a deep knowing.
Oh, he’d written lines far darker than these
words that would confuse and provoke,
unfairness of the mundane, inertia,
the 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 urgent, sharp lines he might have written
(or so it certainly seemed, looking at him).
Hard to say from across the street, fleetingly
driving by his path, for these few brief moments
before my light turns green and I go down the road
away from the college-aged, but no-longer-in-college beat
on that humid 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 are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 37,110+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

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