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JEFF BLACKMAN

 

A contrail diving at the horizon 

I've called the cops five times.
I don't think I've got anyone hurt. Once
I thought I saw a plane go down while I had a paper to write.
Three cops and me on my balcony, not sure what we were seeing.
The first time, my roommate was moving in, and his father said,
"Someone next door fucked somebody's wife. Someone's gonna to get killed."
Someone slept on their patio. Some nights we smoked cigarettes together.
It was a dark part of town and you could see far enough to forget
there were people in that house. I got an A minus in feminism
that spring. I don't think I got anyone killed.

 Two officers enter the rooming house five doors down.
"Don't hit me," croaked a female voice, once or twice. Maybe twice.
What did I call down? What happened after we left for dance class?
A couple times in the Market: One poor-looking man punched
a poor-looking woman to the ground and wailed on her
after she spat in his face fifteen paces ahead of me. I froze.
Two women from the Sally Anne came at him shouting,
"You like beating up women?" and he took off. I walked far enough
to not be heard as dispatch recorded my account. In the summer
a man was coming up to tourists picking fights, calling men
cocksuckers in front of their wives, and spitting on their shoes.
I don't know who lives around here. I pass people
and I don't know any of their names. I work with people
and I don't know what music they like. I share an office.
I am our office's Security Champion.

Oh! And one other time. There were these two teens in the park
trying to light an aerosol. My wife and I stoned, called 911.
A fire truck came and we went for bagels.

 
 

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Jeff Blackman authored and co-authored 15 chapbooks, including So Long As The People Are People, The Coral Castle Trilogy (with Justin Million), and BLIZZARD: Ottawa City Stories (with Peter Gibbon). His poems have appeared in Big Smoke Poetry, Bywords, and (parenthetical).