POEM: I Wanna Be A Regular

I Wanna Be A Regular

I wanna be / a regular / a guy who walks in and hears / the bartender say his name / who gets his root beer / before he’s sat all the way down / a guy who gossips / chews the fat with the other 3 pm hangers on / all of us gray at the temples / I wanna eat a French dip / with curly fries / that I didn’t have to order / because Becky knows / what I like // when I leave the bar / I’ll walk down the street nodding sagely / and sneer at the goddamn New Yorkers / driving their goddamn Benzes / too fast down Housatonic // I’ll stop in at The Bookstore / talk about Bernadette Mayer with the curly- / headed owner while / the tourists look at the postcards // later as the sun dips below the Berkshires / I’ll climb the creaky stairs to the second floor / sit in the kitchen where I sat / all those years before / hold my love’s hand / and feel the roots dig a little deeper / into the soil


Jason Crane
31 March 2019
Canandaigua, NY

POEM: Dial Tone

Dial Tone

My son hands me a phone / says he thinks it’s broken / it’s making a weird noise / I listen / it’s a dial tone / he’s never heard one before / and in that moment I realize / he’ll never know my Great-Uncle Bill or my Great-Uncle Jack / he barely remembers his great-grandparents / he’s never met most of his cousins / most of whom I haven’t seen in years either / in that moment I realize / he doesn’t care about Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole / he doesn’t listen to big band music / he doesn’t watch old movies / and by old I mean the movies I watched growing up / that were new to me then / as I listen to the dial tone I realize / this too shall pass / my grandchildren if they ever exist / will never hear a dial tone directly / perhaps someday they’ll encounter one in a museum / or an old movie / and by old I mean the ones my son won’t watch.


Jason Crane
25 Mar 2019
State College PA

POEM: the world’s breath

the world’s breath

I’m in some
Burmese posture
as the wind
tries its many hands
against the walls.
Are we ever so
as when
whatever shelter
we’ve conjured
proves able
to withstand


Jason Crane
29 December 2018
Cheshire, NY

POEM: 300


300 times on the cushion
or the couch or the bed
or the seiza bench.
300 trips into the carwash
of my brain, brushes
spinning, thoughts
spraying this way and that.
300 dances with the monkey,
banging on the typewriter keys
with no paper in the machine.
Light the incense, light the candle,
sit, breathe, rinse, repeat.
Three bells to start, three bells
to finish. I guess that’s
eighteen hundred bells.
Seems like a lot.


Jason Crane
3 December 2018
State College PA

POEM: What We Recognize

What We Recognize

There’s a red-tailed hawk on the wires above the Monro Muffler. Or maybe it’s a falcon. I don’t know for sure. I like to think I can identify more birds than I can. Like most people here in the land of asphalt and promises, I know more corporate logos than I do birds or trees. Show me the Golden Arches or the Swoosh and I’m your man. Ask me to identify the leaves that gather like asylum seekers against our door and I’ll have to admit I know as little about them as I do the people I used in this metaphor. I believe in building small communities, but I don’t even know the names of most of my neighbors. I’ve hugged the guy who brings our Chinese food but his name escapes me. Same for all those dear friends I had on Facebook. Now I see them on the street and they’re like pop songs whose lyrics I never quite understood. Hum a few bars, but quietly. The hawk is skittish.


Jason Crane
25 November 2018
State College PA