Enter the City

“Set your Mind at Ease” by Allan M. Heller

SET YOUR MIND AT EASE

Don’t worry about that group of young men on the corner.
They’re just kids, really.
Smoking and swearing are all part of the act.
If one of them spits, he’s probably just clearing his throat.
And those snide comments could describe a lot of people.
Not necessarily you.

As a pedestrian, you have the right of way.
The signal flashes in your favor
And the borders of magic crosswalk protect you
Like the confines of a large pentagram drawn on the floor
Protect the sorcerer from the demon he summons.
The long line of cars knows that
As does the macho pinhead in the souped-up 1973 Chevy Nova
Revving his engine.
Just keep on walking.

Surely you’re not afraid of some little dog?
Okay, so he’s a medium dog, but he’s no Cerberus!
Most dogs won’t bite.
Besides, he doesn’t own the whole sidewalk.
Yea, though I walk through the valley…
Enough!
Straight ahead. March. Show no fear.
Set your mind at ease.

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Allan M. Heller is poet laureate of Hatboro, and his work has appeared in Mad Poets Review, Mobius, Writer’s Digest, Brevities, The Compass, and Plainsongs. He is also a published short story writer, author of five non-fiction books, and a collection of short stories, 40 Frightful Flash Fictions.

Please note: Poetry is compressed to fit smart phone screens. If you are reading this poem on a phone screen, please turn your screen sideways to make sure that you are seeing correct line breaks for this poem.

Editor’s Post: “New York City”

Ayesha F. Hamid is the founder and editor-in-chief at The City Key.  Ayesha has an MFA from Rosemont College, an MA in Sociology from Brooklyn College, and is currently pursuing an MA in Publishing from Rosemont College.  Her poetry and prose has appeared in Big Easy Review and in Philly Flash Inferno.  Ayesha is a lover of cities, big and small.

“The Sweet Land of Del Sur” by Spencer Shaak

THE SWEET LAND OF DEL SUR

They could make a song out of me
stretch my torso like whole notes
like Coronado’s sunset.

They could dot my eyes
like floating staccatos
or fighter planes hovering
over clay cliffs.

Turn my stiff lips
into sounds of slurs
in the sweet land of Del Sur
where tequila pours
more than rain.

Lovely lady by the sea
make a song out of me
drown my soul in your endless
rifts and crests.

Transform me into your unsung feature
your hidden notes
and cast my lines in your long-lost boat,
the boat beyond Coronado’s sunset
where fighter planes hover,
where tequila pours like rain
to forget past lovers.

Capture

Spencer Shaak is an MFA graduate in creative writing from Rosemont College in Rosemont, Pennsylvania.

Please note: Poetry is compressed to fit smart phone screens. If you are reading this poem on a phone screen, please turn your screen sideways to make sure that you are seeing correct line breaks for this poem.

Four Poems by Christopher Mulrooney

entertainments

a quiet row succinctly handled
at the siphon stand down the street
and for something awfully sweet
hot cross buns faintly warmed over
and these are the oases after all
amongst the desert dwellers’ cubbyhole

fortress

well the gangbanging requires a mighty big area
to work with beams and lath and plaster
by the carload brought in special
and to cover all the noise the loudest décor
you have ever seen erected in Christendom

stalwarts
sure clean the house
drive the devil out at door
then quiet as a mouse
watch him come back evermore
sevenfold the dirty louse

pray you mater
what rubbish you luggage
the roundabout gits
not an ounce of leverage
to move a stone a pebble
and the world lies there

Christopher Mulrooney is the author of toy balloons (Another New Calligraphy), alarm (Shirt Pocket Press), supergrooviness (Lost Angelene), and Buson orders leggings (Dink Press).

Please note: Poetry is compressed to fit smart phone screens. If you are reading this poem on a phone screen, please turn your screen sideways to make sure that you are seeing correct line breaks for this poem.

“Rome and Tropea” by Erica Utti

Erica Utti is a student of the arts.  Her photography has also appeared in Reflections Magazine.

 

 

 

“Prose in the City” by Pietra Dunmore

My MFA nonfiction workshop was held in a small room, surrounded by bookcases with hardcovers and their yellowing pages. We sat around an oval, oak table listening to an older man with a sparse beard and black turtleneck. Among those plush chairs sat archetypes of stereotypical writers with their bushy beards, thick glasses, and self-proclaimed alcoholism. One of those writers was the man I fell in love with.

Continue reading “Prose in the City” by Pietra Dunmore

Editor’s Post: “The City’s Wild Promise.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that “the city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time. In its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world.” Fitzgerald describes something that I’ve always felt when arriving in a city; the word that comes closest to explaining this feeling is hope.

Continue reading Editor’s Post: “The City’s Wild Promise.”

“Philadelphia” by Anthony Natale

Anthony Natale has been interested in photography, nature, and the city from an early age.  His work focuses on living systems…life in the outdoors, as well as in the city.  As a native of Southern New Jersey, he grew up surrounded by the NJ Pinelands, which inspired his artistic focus on living, vibrant communities.  Now a resident of Philadelphia, he is often found wandering the city with his camera, capturing the intersection of nature and urban life.  He works to instill a sense of wonder and respect in others about their environment, attempting to build memory through photography of the ever changing dynamic world around us.