ISSUE FOUR
August 1998

Wayne Zade

Wayne Zade Wayne Zade has taught writing and literature at Westminster College in Fulton, MO, since 1976. He has published poems in Poetry, American Poetry Review, North American Review, and other magazines. Recent poems have appeared or will appear in Sport Literate and RealPoetik. He has published reviews of jazz recordings in the Online magazine All About Jazz.
American Writers on Location    Read Along with the Author


The dream, which I haven't had yet, of being
lost in a vibrant but strange city like New York
or San Francisco, not just lost myself
but with a group of people, young adults,
students I am supposedly in charge of,

scares me, even though I can talk
and even laugh about it. In one version,
that's me, asleep on a bench in Central Park,
apparently not caring what time it is
or what intriguing but nonetheless creepy

other visitors are skulking about,
they must be just outside the frame of this photograph
not likely to appear on a postcard.
Perhaps they are engaging my students in conversation
and the kids don't know any better,

they're fooled by the apparently polite patter
about the Guggenheim or MOMA or Village Vanguard
and great bookstores, before they're held up
or beaten up, or worse, and I can't protect them
or call a cop or 911, all I can say is, Hey,

I thought we were going to Harlem today,
Arthur Miller lived as an infant in Apartment 6B
at 45 West 110th Street, one of many
luxury apartment houses built in Harlem
at the turn of the century, though

of more interest to us and countless scholars
of the famed Harlem Renaissance is the brick
and brownstone house at 267 West 136th Street
where Wallace Thurman lived during the twenties,
or the Paul Lawrence Dunbar Apartments.

Wait, now I'm really lost, we're on the Lower East Side,
and Allen Ginsberg took Jack Kerouac's picture
on that fire escape. This was just before he drove
his Green Automobile to find his old companion, Neal Cassady,
in his house on the Western ocean, in that other dream.

 

 

Wayne Zade: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue FourThe Cortland Review