“Straight out the Sewer” by Maceo J. Whitaker

The cake batter factory’s overrun
by skunks that spray Velvet
Underground lyrics in Helvetica.
Jesus, I can’t stand it, Sister Ray.
I was the fifth turtle, too slow,
too dim-witted to mistake
rotting underpass brick
for art. Foggy notion, foggy
breath. I wear a buckskin
to warm. I humidify my hide
with gurry. Hidden from moles
and their bluesy carbuncles,
I pray to Janis and Scott Joplin.
Chop suey with tripe and pea-
pods line my GI tract. Here
I sit, a nadir-guru to nada.
I wanted some live effects.
Instead: silver earwig scowls,
the lovebites of bugs, +
splintered antennae of ash.

Maceo J. Whitaker is a creative writing instructor living in the thriving arts community of Beacon, NY. He holds degrees from SUNY New Paltz and University of Pennsylvania. His poetry is featured or forthcoming in The CommonPoetry, Rattle, PANK, and The Florida Review.

Image: Sarah Clark

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