Monday, October 7, 2019

Wayne F. Burke


it had been a good day
until two cruisers moved-in
and cut me off
in the crosswalk,
a sunny afternoon
in the city,
one cop threw me
onto the hood of the car
another hand-cuffed me.

Me, the "unidentified man"
in the newspaper story
of the morning edition.

The cops knew who I was
but I didn’t.

The bartender knew that
I did not need another drink
but I knew I did and
after he shut me off
I climbed over the bar
and made my own,
and when he slapped the drink
from my hand
I punched him and
ran out
and became "unidentified"
for a day
or two, until cops
closed in
at the intersection of
State and Main.

Gerald So reads "Shut-Off":

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Wayne confesses: "The weird experience of reading about myself in a newspaper as 'unidentified man' stuck with me, remaining raw enough—despite having happened long ago (and before I got off the sauce), to serve as basis, emotionally, of my poem."

WAYNE F. BURKE's poetry and prose has been published in a wide variety of publications online and in print (including The Two-Five). He had published six full-length poetry collections, most recently Diflucan (BareBack press, 2019). He lives in the central Vermont area.

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