Issue 6

Toynbee’s Tiles

 · Poetry

Tar paper and the helpless cries of

5 A.M. city traffic was the thing then, and

Forget-Me-Nots floating in soap suds.

After he died, Mrs. James Morasco was evasive

When questioned about the paper and the streets.

She mumbled and pinched the blue flowered print of her dress.

Kubrick’s 2001 was popular in the late 1980’s,

When he was 70-something.

Space Odyssey?  A human lifespan of 400 years?

Arnold Toynbee’s Experiences or Bradbury’s

Convector? It could be all or none.


Jupiter is the idea, my boy.

(She could hear him saying it.)

No, the other one.

Fold that corner just so. Do as I say.

There’s a bluesy feel to this one, where the notes

Are kind of lilting, ya know? Blue. Like forget me

Knots in the throat. Blue like fumes of carbon monoxide

Morning after coffee.


Tar paper will wear away after the rubber melts to the roads,

And the message will appear on steaming asphalt:




From Santiago to 7th Avenue Philadelphia,

A few revolutions in psyche occur,

Not enough to transform the soul, as he’d hoped.

Or produce the psychosomatic resurrection from the

Dead that the Christians hope for either,

But a few, nonetheless.

Maybe shamanic. Maybe heartfelt and ethereal.

Maybe James, that bluesy feel, or the

Forget-me-not petal floating in detergent, disembodied.

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