Note-Taking While Reading “Between the Trade Wars”
by Cal Freeman
- An indeterminate animal lurches up ahead.
- I live in this greening place of non-existent
- tariffs where the heads of dandelions
- explode and solidify over the course of a day,
- their proliferation and geographical sprawl
- making questions
- of empathy and appropriation litigious.
- I loved this town’s manufacture
- of common grief until I realized
- its history was hyper-present,
- its bigot fathers and belt-buckle-
- beaten wantons, its cops chomping
- pseudo-legalese in black faces.
- We are sick of more than promises.
- An untold cocktail of chemicals
- rides the east air.
- No one feels as though living once is adequate.
- The smokestacks that tower over
- obsidian hills blear the moonlight.
- I turn and hoof it up the street
- toward the lurching figure that might
- hold a small death in its teeth
- after all,
- some sustenance embargoed long ago.
Packingtown Review – Vol.11, Spring 2019
Cal Freeman’s writing has appeared in Commonweal, The Cortland Review, The Journal, Passages North, Hippocampus and elsewhere. The recipient of the Howard P. Walsh Award for Literature, The Ariel Poetry Prize, and The Devine Poetry Fellowship, Cal has also been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in poetry and creative nonfiction, as well as Best of the Net and Best American Poetry. He is the author of the collections Brother of Leaving (Marick Press) and Fight Songs (Eyewear Publishing), and the chapbook Heard Among the Windbreak (Eyewear Publishing).