Poem by Drew Attana

Artwork © Ira Joel Haber

 

Lights Out

Take me out tonight, because I want to see
people and I want to see life — Morrissey
I come from four-finger salutes and departures
at 0600, from murals and spidered glass.
I waved at the refracted light from cockpit windows,
held to the ground by my mother’s hand, and rallied
against caskets and cells, held back from inevitability
by the fist of grace—the impossible unknowing.

I am charged by fear, by interchangeable anxieties
that shift direction, points of attack. I am the product
of loss, of lust and the guarantee of the silver screen.
Of close calls, and even closer relationships. I am one
failed exam away from being found out—I am the frayed
stitching and sweat stained fabric of a Dodgers hat.

I write to forget, and to ignore. I write to remember
that I made it through the red light, through the gravy
trays at camp and the sexy pull of the 27 club.
I write to keep the bad men from the door, to build
barricades and levies against the rush of youth—
I am writing this because, honestly, I still can.

I can’t stop, won’t stop, because if I keep the engine
running, the pedal mashed, and I make sure I miss
this exit and the next one and all the rest, then I can
stay hidden. I can exist in between the lines: on
the asphalt, on my face and on the printed page,
because this—this is the light that never goes out.

 

Artwork © Ira Joel Haber
Artwork © Ira Joel Haber

 

Originally from Los Angeles, Drew Attana spent over a decade getting into trouble from Tijuana to Portland, before heading South. His fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry has appeared in Cargo Literary Magazine, Pathos Literary Journal, Eunoia Review, Yellow Chair Review, Drunk Monkeys Magazine, HIV Here and Now Project and is forthcoming in Phoebe Literary Journal, Common Ground Review, HelloHorror Magazine, Merrimack Review, Gulf Stream Literary Journal, West Trade Review, and Apeiron Review. He is currently living and writing in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum and The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Since 2007 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 160 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn.