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ED SMITH: Four Poems from I Am That Hero

ASBURY PARK | THE MORNING CRACKS TO PEELING
| I AM THAT HERO | SONNET

ED SMITH born Newark on Dec. 23, 1952. He lives in the Jersey Shore community of Manasquan, NJ with his wife, Kathleen. He graduated from William Paterson College with a B.A. in Political Science, and Rutgers University with a M.L.S. in Library Science. Currently, he is the Library Director of Manville, NJ. He has had his poems and essays appear in numerous magazines including Exquisite Corpse, The Poetry Project Newsletter, The World, Abraxas, Beehive, Giants Play Well in Drizzle, Footwork: the Paterson Literary review, as well as in the anthologies Under a Gull's Wing (Down the Shore Press, 1996) Blue Stones & Salt Hay (Rutgers University Press, 1990) and the Temple of Baseball (North Atlantic Books, 1985). His poem "the morning cracks to peeling" will be cut into stone by Larry Kirkland of Washington, D.C. to be permanently on display at New York City's Penn Station in 2002. All selections are from the newly published I Am That Hero © 2000 [ Gaede's Pond Press: 409 Wash. St. #260, Hoboken, NJ 07030. $12.00 postpaid.] You can read Ed Smith’s interview with Allen Ginsberg and his essay on Walt Whitman in Camden here on NJPoets.com

ASBURY PARK

Girls hug their boyfriends with
concert tickets in denim jackets.

They walk past the black Atlantic,
breathing seaweed and kelp.

Retired now, machinists kiss
their wives on the boardwalk,

as the loud music covers them.
The video arcade blast quarters

into unknown galaxies.
No one fantasizes here.

THE MORNING CRACKS TO PEELING

the morning cracks to peeling
paint off Bayonne's oil refinery

the black Pulaski Skyway
built by immigrant labor

against an orange line of
buildings that don't hear

the cries of children
chasing a rubber ball

I AM THAT HERO

I am a screeching star falling into the third dimension
I am that "poor moth boy in the Moon"
I am the outlaw of Sierra Madre
I am that hero


Jersey Boy with a milky face, quicker, cleaner, and mean
I am nice
I am that poem of yours that smile
I am Allwood Road shuffling along

I am King Kong turning 50
I am benzene polluting Elizabeth, New Jersey's lungs
I am Voltaire's scarlet briefcase containing snow air
I was the tension of the Long Island Expressway. I am yours.

SONNET

It's 4:32 PM & I've gotta go to work.
Will Mike be ready for basketball Sunday?
Or will sleep interfere?
Newark has the highest arson rate.
Ya need two more cops there.
"Yesterday's" is my hangout,
your breathe at midnight
you who take everything so seriously.
Joe spent money, you don't. He had a Corvette
I've not finished my income tax yet.
I watch them dance but you are not among them.
It takes 237 calories to dance the night away.
You can get any girl you want
I watch them dance but you are not among them.

Copyright © 2001 Ed Smith, from I Am That Hero. All Rights Reserved.

Read Ed Smith's interview with Allen Ginsberg and his essay on Walt Whitman in Camden here on NJPoets.com

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