Lead by John Amen

How far would I have to drive — and where would I have to search — to truly find myself? What horrors would I find along the way?

Photo Courtesy Brian Landis

John Amen


I drive a flatbed in Nelson’s Lair,
looking for marbles, shine, the kind of saw
you bend into a song over bad coffee
& a blowtorch. You could call it selective
memory, the lull of aftermath,
but there’s a nation of ice
between me & the free road.
A Jungian would have a field day w/ this.
A purist would say sit still until you disappear.
I poured smoke into my throat,
like giving a murderer my house key,
I fled downriver, floating in my father’s rafters.
I begged St. Monica & the stars,
years lost in the Lower Burrows,
the hand that plucked me from the thick white line,
the pipe & chasing glass.
In the beginning, I learned a safeword,
it’s taken me a long time to use it.

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