Pedestrian

I am a walker. I follow the sun as it angles
Into the evening on an edge where

A thoroughfare meets a hill of empty houses,
And as it spreads through back roads, I walk

Into nights—imaginary city—into nights
I walk changed, to be changed like a character

In a story I might read at the diner
On a damp morning when I don’t feel right, or

By the fire, folded into fire, days or nights
Or days again, walking with a map in

My head, a little blood in my teeth. If I walk
Out into my own block, and don’t know

Where I am, things may even out in
Neighborhoods I’ve never been to as I

Begin to feel at home, and forget what I am
After. I walk along the edge of the airfield.

The city swells in and out of my descriptions.
I can’t make fit these words falling from

My mouth. Ships in the yard at a distance,
Then close. Clouds precede me as I walk

Home—it’s not far now—between two
Memories, sidewalk shifting among

Mailboxes, streetlights, apartment complexes,
All of it settling into the orange domes

Of the synagogue, where Farmington Avenue
Dips down into the city, meets the rise of

Its buildings. This is where I’m from.
My city made real. I am elegant. Tiresome.

The avenue, I can’t be precise now about how
It was then, though I see I’m still this person

In here, nestled among words. They aren’t mine.
Stopping under a tree by a wall. Darkness

Cast like a light. I’m lying alone on a bench,
Feet on the arm, fingers on the sidewalk,

Buzzing with caffeine. The police come, but
I sit up and they stay in their cars. I am so

Able to be large and harmless. Thought beating
In the heart. Every yard a very varnished green.

I come and go and come and go all night. Past
The familiar gas station, through the white

Squares of the divinity school, mansion rows,
Wide and wealthy. Perhaps I depend too much

On a breeze rising unexpectedly out of
The night’s heat? No matter. Long after curfew,

And I could care less which city or street.
There are rules to these things, but I’ve walked

Beyond them. I’m the figure in the distance.
Not everything has to be a struggle, I say.

More by Samuel Amadon

Without Discussion

What people said, what left the table dark.
None stayed inside the house, nor close around.
Each direction its direction bound.
Like when you leave the arcing thing to arc.
Like papers gather papers in the park.
We note the wind is what can't hold the ground.
While hearing transfer stations fill with sound.
And let the city alter a remark
a little further from explaining what
was meant. A creak again or just a creak
right then. Like leaning forward on the cart.
A structure falls to stay its every strut.
I'd like to speak. I said I'd like to speak.
And someone sighs, they broke the silent part.

Days of Future Dwell

A dance professor around
her white house, which
windowed, countered,
surfaced with keys, bags,

a listing a broker found
he was proud to sell.
As grass is covered
with grass that’s mown,

why not be happy again
to find your schedule in
your hand, and all things
well. The squirrels leapt

off the branch that fell.
The technical part with
all the pieces lining up,
or already there, at work:

a something to do with
why I pick the tack
from the floor, why I
finger it like a shell. Say

the songs get longer and
the days—all of it—you
can hear it all coming,
if you’ve tied to it a bell.

 

About this poem:
"For a long time, I couldn't understand how people could write in quatrains and still look themselves in the mirror. And now, for some reason, they just feel calm and right."

Samuel Amadon

Poem in July

I felt perfected along the rectangle 
By its ragged side

Fences trees and mist dropping
Some space for the flowers

I set an image in my head where
Bushes in their out of focus

Made a green dearth about the door
I wanted to do a book on

Pages left in the heat or rain
But my desire seemingly disappeared

Picked up by a car in the middle of
A pack of cigarettes

This trip into the forest
The trees trading with memory to

Frame the various breaks
The pleasures of small laws cut

Behind the mower with my eyes
Running the grass blades

We don’t really get any older
I can see what that means