“Unromantic” by Aaron Poochigian

Aaron Poochigian


In a torn hoodie, out of spite, 
a beggar is alive tonight 
beneath great failure and a gruff 
snowstorm. He can’t get small enough. 
Look how that innocence of his 
diminishes, diminishes 
as no hand ever offers up 
even a quarter for his cup. 
It’s hard to grin and keep the faith 
when threads from Goodwill on West 8th 
can’t keep the bitter from the bone. 
None of us should be that alone. 
I know his story: from the prairie. 
He lives on eleemosynary 
pittances but won’t go back, 
since, out of spite, in spite of hack, 
spit, shivers and a telltale fever, 
he is the truest true believer 
that ever took a Greyhound bus 
to Penn Station to be with us. 
I, who have starved, like him, in hope, 
have nothing much to help him cope 
with hunger, unsuccess, hard times: 
just poetry and a couple dimes.

from Rattle #77, Fall 2022


Aaron Poochigian: “Auden said, ‘Poetry makes nothing happen.’ I don’t agree with him but, more and more, I find myself wanting to, more immediately, make the world a better place. That is: I have poetry but it is not enough. All I can afford to do right now is foster kittens.” (web)

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