Harlem, circa 2011

by Jéanpaul Ferro

In the boisterous blue nights of Harlem,
where stomachs are often fissured shut with nothing but whiskey and gin,
everything a man owns is already pawned down at Sunshine Pawn,

to that man tomorrow is simply a mockery to the excesses of today,
a prisoner in chains, already immobile, face first up against the wall,
the hot barrel light of fire burning behind him down the alley,
echoes and shadows, a mind falling pray to illusion,
all the street lights turning from red to gray;

meanwhile, a politician stands on a street corner sermonizing
as all these stray children go running home, starving to death
in their minds.

The Protocols of Torture

Jéanpaul Ferro's picture

A 10-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Jéanpaul Ferro’s work has appeared on National Public Radio, Contemporary American Voices, Columbia Review, Emerson Review, Connecticut Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Portland Monthly, Rattle Magazine, Arts & Understanding Magazine, and others. He is the author of All The Good Promises (Plowman Press, 1994), Becoming X (BlazeVox Books, 2008), You Know Too Much About Flying Saucers (Thumbscrew Press, 2009), Hemispheres (Maverick Duck Press, 2009) Essendo Morti – Being Dead (Goldfish Press, 2009), nominated for the 2010 Griffin Prize in Poetry; and Jazz (Honest Publishing, 2011), nominated for both the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize and the 2012 Griffin Prize in Poetry. He is represented by the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. Website: www.jeanpaulferro.com * E-mail: jeanpaulferro@netzero.net

Last updated August 30, 2011