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  • Writer's pictureRyan Nowlin

Word on the Street ( A Pantoum)



Word on the Street


I consider Ricky to be the orchestrator

of cheap alliances, screwed up optics

and bright Christmas trees of blood splatter.

Word on the street was always a year ahead



of cheap alliances, screwing up the optics

for the cops. Efforts at euphemism like

“the word on the street” were always a year ahead

of locker room talk and all its bright prospects.


For the cops efforts at euphemism like “planned

shrinkage” meant walls of garbage, broken porticoes,

locker room talk and all the bright prospects

that never materialized or a scattering of poorness.


Shrinkage meant walls of garbage, broken porticoes

zaftig rats and deafened provincial spiders

that never materialized or a scattering of poorness

all of which had loosened their chokehold.


Zaftig rats, deafened provincial spiders

the constant recall and cracked pavement

had loosened their chokehold

Comparison beckon? Everywhere else is Dullsboro


The constant recall, cracked pavement

and bright Christmas trees of blood splatter,

comparison beckon? Everywhere else is Dullsboro.

I consider Ricky to be the orchestrator.





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