Monday, April 14, 2014

Linda Lerner


to be mugged walking down a street
crowded with people going to & from church
out for brunch or to do some shopping
enjoy this Sunday's relief from the heat
for it to occur so fast the word can't
grab hold of anything as the car speeds off
to feel that my mind has been broken into
and no witnesses to corroborate what
must be happening to others

a mugging that strikes suddenly
like being hit on the head, knocked down
without falling, hip hopping over my thoughts
forcing me to run out of a store the gym anyplace
run as fast as I can to shake it, as
I once ran from two guys sitting on a stoop I saw
give each other the eye before trying to jump me,
ran like the day I came back jet-lagged
from England and didn't see the man in the elevator
follow me down the hall to my apartment
till I felt something sharp sticking in my back
and ran out screaming...

no, nothing was taken
I lie—running from what keeps
slipping out of the word surrounded by people
too deaf to see what they can't hear anymore

Linda reads "Fear as Loud as a Mugging":

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Linda confesses: "This poem was inspired by hearing music so loud it crossed the line into jarring sound; to think or be heard I felt as if I was fighting off an assailant who was robbing me. It's happened at the gym, in certain stores, and recently in a bar before a poetry reading. A woman told me that after a while she got used to it. Others seemed oblivious to it. Not so for me."

Photo by Andrew Gettler
LINDA LERNER's Takes Guts & Years Sometimes was published by NYQ books, 2011. She previously published thirteen collections of poetry. Forthcoming: a chapbook of poems inspired by nursery rhymes illustrated by Donna Kerness (Lummox Press). Yes, the Ducks Were Real will by published by NYQ books in 2015.

1 comment:

Donna Walence said...

Linda, this poem is great. It really has all the feelings of being violated and the anxiety that goes along with it for me, because I was actually kidnapped at knife point.