Here We Name Them ‘Way’


Cart and horse scaled streets, some cities have

Alleys couched that way enough the British might say mews,

Doors silent the size to walk through

Not interrogate your journey, big

Mouthing in stasis the importance

Of their place, ready to say not your

Destination; but here, actually home in the alley.


The neighborhood is changing

People are moving in as out

Faster than we can see who is

Going to be here, who the violence will leave

Unclear, who unafraid;


The street scale   without moving I could talk across

A line of words as easily as walk

To hand some of the first fresh ripe

Tomatoes I’d hosed clean because I know

You’re going to bite into one right there

Your way to let me know you think I know

How to live   across the street

Ed Robertson was born and raised in Pittsburgh and was once a tank man in an Aquazoo. His is the author of several collections of poetry, including Atmosphere Conditions, City Eclogue, and To See the Earth Before the End of the World. He lives in Chicago.

You Might Also Enjoy


Andrei Codrescu

something I made up in the mirror of enmeshed languages survived briefly then died in my lifetime  


the blue shared earth

Tyree Daye

when wildness & brown was hit by the car it hollered & spun the wild brown dog looked like a dust devil gathering wind. . .


Famous Men

Mike Newirth

I have met the famous men, the gaunt Caucasians with the powers you’ve heard about and thought you could fight, the men of. . .


Further Reading

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.