“The Street Poet” by James Hazen

James Hazen


When Hickford sings, midnight’s
passers-by are pleased, and one
parked car starts spontaneously.
Ignition and its blooming lights

switch on to multiply the moon.
He looks a bard, the coat is ratty
gabardine, the hair is ringlets greased,
he’s got no MFA. He doesn’t sound

like Possum, not at all like Yeats.
“Baby, you’re a peach, a tangerine,”
he chants. He lives and works so
far away, outside the printed gates.

But the library’s lights blink up
tonight, a tribute to discordant sounds.
The people weep, the critics sleep
and the editors make their rounds.

from Rattle #20, Winter 2003

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