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Knock Our Hats Off Contest Winner
Jason Price Everett
First prize Poetry (verse)

The Ghost of Bradhurst Avenue

I.

Looseys on the boulevard
Lay out the cold schematics:

Before there was light
Between dappled shades
He was written in flight down the right-of-way
Entangled in iron as the benches judged
In bold profusion night made the grade

And the Ghost of Bradhurst Avenue
Cut corners through the tough roses
Past the pool with no reflection
Waltzing two-step down the one-four-five
Live as live in both directions:

One hand a cascade of offering meat
And the other full of tall blue poison.

One hand bleeding brief lines in the heat
And the other hand keeping the noise in.

 

II.

Looseys on the boulevard
Her voice paints in sheets of dark rain:

“LAST GENTLEMAN IN HARLEM”
All the ladies exclaimed
And the all-caps rolled off their tongues

Waiting his turn at the corner store
To spin three circles with the crooked stick
To fade AM-PM to something that
Nobody ever heard before:

“New arabesque in pink and brown
As liquid fire paved uptown”

Never heard that before
Didja?

Pinktoes flicker through the money jungle
Staccato shoetaps so quick ya missed it
Hushed black cars rolling
Somewhere secret
With calm black kings at the wheel

Glow-in-the-dark busy eyeing
The street that will say that it cannot be crossed
Trigger the signs for the night's burlycue:

World in a forty
Island in her hand

Blank by popular demand.

 

III.

Looseys on the boulevard
Skinny white notes pegging lives together:

Mister Menthol how you feeling?
Grandmaster of the graymarket trade
Working just down and around the way
Selling sections of himself
In rectangular array
And always a kind word about the weather.

Drysocket gumline agape in the earth
Leftover mouth in articulate mass
Hollowedout sculpture depicting hard space:
The big room with one entrance
And too many exits.

Project steeples object peoples
Hungry towers eat the sky
And in baseball anabasis
Sixty thousand raise the cry –

(another D train wanders by)

 

IV.

Looseys on the boulevard
Espresso liqueur in a moving glass:

Jawdrop hellyeah starin' at
At the beauty parlor and the laundromat

Upstairs in the word
Dissecting the dot grid heart
And dancing on the point z'araignée
(Tell you there ain't no better way
For feeling up Erigone)

What he eat is what he see
Chain smoke lady with the gunpowder lips
Bayacou star in the bedroom eclipse
Slow emotions delfonic
So tonight she's astonished:

And that's how she dances
She dances like that
Step on your foot
And never say sorry
That way
Like that
That way
Like that
What has sorry ever done
For her?

Amphibian in hot November
Only the bottled stars remember.

 

V.

Looseys on the boulevard
No one knew less what time it was:

Dumpster slabs and involutes
Piebald paste with pigeon mutes
Yammering in absolutes

Contagious change restoring same
Park it here for the city game
Confluent cans soon began his name:

Breaking pimp strut that shone
On all the wrong blocks
Dead heirloom of the ghetto walk
He staggered out the sasa
Stately up the sugar stairs
In discordant rhythm
And took his time with him

Into the zamani.

(sub aeternitate)

 

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Jason Price EverettJason Price Everett was born in Orlando, Florida in 1972. He was educated at Lafayette College, Cornell University and the University of Paris. He has held twenty-seven different positions of employment to date, one of the more recent being that of English professor at a university in Xian, China. His first book, Unfictions, was released by 8th House Publishing in 2009. His new book Hypodrome: Selected Poems 1990-2010 will be forthcoming from 8th House in the summer of 2011. His work has appeared over the years in such diverse publications as Si Senor, Hubris, CRIT Journal, The Mad Hatters’ Review, BITEmagazine, Writers Notes Magazine, Farmhouse Magazine, The Quarterly Review, The Prague Literary Review, City Writers Review, Riverbabble, The Maynard, Underground Voices, BLATT, The Alchemy Review, Carcinogenic Poetry, hardbrackets, Interrupting Infinity/Third Party Poetry, KGB Bar Lit Magazine, Revue Mètropolitaine and the Show Thieves Anthology of Contemporary Montreal Poetry. He currently lives in Montreal.

 

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