No Outlet

3:00 a.m.
stumbling drunk
no buses running.
Surely there’s a shortcut
across the widest meander
of my five-kilometer route—
all I need to do is abandon
gridlocked American habits,
“think in Japanese”
& zero in. This street
must lead straight to
the canal
I’m muttering
to myself as it narrows
block by so-called block
& dead-ends in front
of a sushi bar with one
lit window. A large fish
hovers upside-down
in a tank, gills
slowly fluttering.
Nothing to do but empty
my bladder in the gutter
& go back.


In every city since,
I’ve found myself
stopped short
by cul-de-sacs. I’ve seen
syringes spinning
on an icy parking lot,
flocks of plastic grocery bags
playing ring around a rosie
in the wind, a stray dog
lunging at the blowzy
apparition of its tail.
And once I heard a cry
like the gasp of some leaping spark
fly past my ear.



  1. beth · March 18, 2007

    Great poem, Dave, and the blog looks fantastic: it’s clean but frames the poems, adding something subtle to them. I love Lori’s image in the header.

  2. Dave Bonta · March 18, 2007

    Thanks, Beth. I appreciate this feedback from a professional designer. (I purchased the ability to make changes to the stylesheet, if you have any specific criticisms or suggestions.)

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