Every Friday night we will feature a short story, essay, personal narrative,
poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.
Helen Presents: a poem from Susan Spilecki
Every night her rusty voice slips
and slides like a shade up a window
street-life, blue as evening, blue
as the frayed strap on her guitar, blue
as cigarette smoke whispering
up from her fingers around her glass.
She’s spent her time walkin’
from gig to gig and bar to bar,
after hours in a green vinyl booth, boots
up on the seat opposite, where she can see
their scuffed leather through smoke
rising in one hand
and the lyrics tapping through her fingers
in the other. A word carved on the table,
out the blue plate window at the rain
striking the street like snapped guitar strings,
a throaty note hummed over
until it rests in her bones, until blue
smoke stills in the air and disappears—
then she unfolds herself to walk
home, lonely as always,
rain-soaked for a change,
and all her clothes, hair, guitar and fingers
smelling blue like smoke.
Susan Spilecki teaches writing at MIT and Northeastern University. Her work has been published in Potomac Review, Princetown Arts Review, Quarterly West and Frontiers. Her first book of poetry, Icons and Action Figures (Batteries Not Included), will be coming out in 2015.