Two Poems by Jake St. John

Jewett City Gangster

he walks down
Main St
in a black
pinstriped suit
the kind Dillinger
might have worn
the night he was
gunned down
but it now
appears after years
of brawls and bad luck
closer to rags
than mafia wear
he limps through town
suffering
from the wound
left by the bullet
that found his leg
one night years ago
at the old hotel
down by the tracks
his drunken stubble
is what’s left
of a three day binge
he pauses briefly
in a barroom doorway
swigs a pint
pulled from his pocket
he squints into the sun
scanning the sidewalk
always on the lookout
for the Lady in Red

 

Photography © Allison Goldin
Photography © Allison Goldin

 

In All The Cities The Same Faces

I write to the same face
in every bar
to the ashtray thieves
of the street
carrying the world
on their shoulders
in old knapsacks
the ones ready
for a bottle of beer
a shot of whiskey
and a cigarette
I write to the same face
in every bar
those who have given up the news
but still read the paper for laughs
those who have loved
and those who have loved the road
I write to the man smoking
outside Lovejoy’s in Austin
before it closed its doors
to hide from the economy
I write for the teacher
working two jobs
or even three
just to afford
classroom supplies
with the change
left over
from student loan payments
I write to the dead bodies
standing on the corner
waiting for a ride
to the graveyard

 

Jake St. John has been called “a neoBeat adventurer” by poet Tom Weigel. He writes out New London CT where he serves as editor of Elephant and Flying Fish. His latest chapbook I Talked To The Moon (Wandering Head 2012) is a collection of poems detailing a summer long trip across America by way of back roads and side streets.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

 

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