james h. duncan



Dash Lights & Static


the woman’s voice on NPR

when she breaks rank

and called him “dude” and laughs;

I am lost in it, and the rain

slips from silence in between


she is beautiful, I know

I see her in every

woman reading a book

glasses and brown mousy hair

these women shake me

and she is their voice

eternal, rational, metropolitan

she is my ventricle beating wild

mixed with dash lights and static


the woman

interviews a soldier with 60 stitches

and two broken wrists

who jumped from a window in the Dominican

Republic while on leave from Iraq

he barely survived and her voice

aches for him with lithe and witty banter

and the rain sheets the windshield


I imagine their late night studio

but shake it away as he speaks

he I can live without, the soldier

who fell and broke his face


the static blots them both and

I switch off


no sense in delaying

the $7 bottle of whiskey

snug between my legs

anything worth doing is worth

doing here and now


maybe later we’ll jump

I think

as I lock the car

tasting the rain head first



James H Duncan is a tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure. The editor of Hobo Camp Review, James considers himself a student of the road, where you’ll find him in late-night diners, local dive bars, and wandering train station platforms minding his own business. Apt, Red Fez, Reed Magazine, Slipstream, Poetry Salzburg Review, and The Battered Suitcase, among many others, have welcomed his work. More at http://jameshduncan.blogspot.com


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