POEM: Lederer Park

Lederer Park

I walk a circular path among the oaks,
listening to the news of the world.
Not to brag, but I’m quite skilled
at going in circles. In fact it may be
the only pursuit to which I’ve devoted
ten thousand hours. You’d be forgiven
for thinking it’s repetitive, for focusing
on the sameness. But just like
Heraclitus’s river, the path changes
with each go-round, as do I.
There are several clearly marked exits
from the circle. Some days I take one,
some days another. Sometimes there’s a dog.

/ / /

Jason Crane
26 December 2019
State College, PA

POEM: Real

Real

I watch John Tchicai dance lightly
through the minefield of “supposed to.”
He’s far ahead but I can see him,
and though the way is full of danger,
I take one step—

/ / /

Jason Crane
12 December 2019
State College PA

POEM: Careful With That Gene, You Ax

Careful With That Gene, You Ax

This is what happens when you listen to
early Pink Floyd in the office with the volume
cranked way up. It’s almost closing time
& nearly everyone is gone. The guitar sounds
like a scream, or maybe the scream sounds
like a guitar. I let the music scream for me
because if my coworkers walked in & found me
on the desk shrieking they’d probably call someone official.
I’ve got 14,532 steps on my Fitbit today & not one of them
landed me anywhere good.
Beige. Everything is beige.
I love stories about the sea because at sea
you can look out to the horizon and it’s infinite.
You can’t do that with beige.
I’m making money for the Big Boss.
All things being equal, I’d rather put him on a rocket
& set the controls for the heart of the sun.

/ / /

Jason Crane
9 December 2019
State College PA

POEM: not all first-person poems are factual, he told the FBI agent

not all first-person poems are factual, he told the FBI agent

I am equivocal about violence
as I sip my English Breakfast.
I’m trying it without sugar
so it’s not as if I don’t take risks.
I’m grappling with years of lukewarm pacifism
pitted against the idea of protection.
I don’t have to make hard choices;
no cops are going to kick in my door;
no ICE agents will be waiting for me
when the school bell rings.
The other day I slashed the tires
of a deserving citizen with a dashboard swastika
using a knife I mostly wield on summer sausage
or tricky packages of batteries.
Luckily the rush of righteous endorphins
drowned out the Catholic-Buddhist twinge.
“Do unto others before they do it to you.”

/ / /

Jason Crane
3 December 2019
State College PA