CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{October 2, 2006}   The Poetry of Dry


The poetry of dry

the word of gray.
Gray green eucalyptus
Watsonville nursing home
we lined up our wheelchairs
sit in the lobby facing
Saturday doors
bluegrass on car radio
tinkle, ting, ting-
an eerie saxophone rises
over the Ford Dealership
shiny-bienvenidos banner-
chrome glass steel
Buick Pontiac GMC Cadillac
GM-Chrevrolet-The main
thing is representing
the dying automobile companies


across the hot gray pavement
from the dying people.
Aunt is delivering food & water
spending a compassionate hour
with a shut in student. The
sun beams have a hideous
radiating quality that hurts
my eyes and head. But
let’s face it-my head aches
anyway. Wasabi peas & water.
Water from the water store.
Peas from a tiny human Asian
market on Union St. in Watson-
ville. I wonder if old Jack
ever hopped down a freight
ladder into a Watsonville yard
and bought homemade Japanese
tea cakes here? Aunt takes some
back to Santa Cruz her
Zen holy tea moments so dash-
ing. The sea breeze is cool


a blue endless sky eases into
strawberry festival afternoon.
Girls walk by chewing gum &
talking in a little Cali almost
valley lilt, voices crisscrossed
by the tinbox bluegrass FM
fiddle-you love this wind-
don’t you? An American Flag
stretches its blue field & red &
white stripes. Now the wheel
chairs have been wheeled to another
room in this low slung
glass curtained palace. Auto
Center Drive-an address that
inspires something ironic.
“Sometimes this eighteen wheeler
seems like a prison cell-” The
homespun lyric-a smoking man
in black tanktop tattoos shouting
almost in breath with his
loudtalk and hipster


stride-the partner smaller-
struggles to mimic his buddy’s
swagger-“I’m a prisoner of
The highway-it just won’t
set me free.” A woman
in too-tight white chinos pushing
a baby carriage hunched into
pushing fast love handles
bulging out of gap between
red shirt & trousers. Her
hair never floats in the breeze
it doesn’t have time.

Steven Paul Lansky


Karen says:

A nice way to start the day. Thanks Steven.

Polly says:

I kind of like this, the way it flows.

Jack says:

Sorry. I don’t get this.

Amy says:

I like the poem a lot. I wish Steven would write some more citizen pieces for the living out loud column. I always found them entertaining and a little differnt.

Lisa says:

I like it when you give us a little poetry. You don’t find that on many blogs.

Barbara says:

I like this poem!! Who is this Lansky guy?

C.A. MacConnell says:

As I read, I heard the words echo, as if inside a song. Reminded me of the strange but eye-opening language in the book, The Accidental, by Ali Smith. The language speaks in that book in a similar way…I like to think of it as a “poetic murmur,” where the imagery and word choice creates sound, taking the reader on an image/sound journey. I’ve noticed this in Lansky’s work…the creation of a literal voice, when the words reflect the narrator’s tone directly, giving the reader a sound trip. Deep thoughts from CA to SP: Thanx for the grilled chicken.

Larry Gross says:

Who is this Lansky guy?


Go over to the blogroll and check out his info. Steven’s a very talented writer.

numb says:


Jim Stanton says:

Just another day. As usual, numb is being a jackass.

Nice poem, Steven.

Jackie says:


Is Steven the guy who gave you the grilled chicken that made you sick?

Karen @ the hood says:

nice poem.

Jeff- or-ly says:

I like it alright – just not a poem type of guy.

Bar says:

Thanks Larry. Now I know who Steven is!

Erin says:

A very nice poem. I hope Steven visits us again soon. A nice change of pace.

Debbie-at-you says:

Is that you with the long white hair. Maybe you’re kind of old, BUT YOU ARE HOT!!!

hard as nails says:

and least he’s not peter.

Marilyn says:

I love it. It’s beautiful. I wish I could write poetry, it’s in me somewhere, but I don’t know how to get it out.

Thanks, Steven.

C.A. MacConnell says:

Attention all: It was not Lansky’s chicken that made me sick. Unfortunately, it was me that made the chicken that made me sick. As far as cooking goes, I suck.

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