October Poem of the Month – Sue Lawler

empty silhouettes

the wind whips around skyscraper exteriors
blowing trash and people
as I laugh at secretary types
holding down skirts, hair
and filmy useless overwraps

I have thermal underwear on
underneath my jeans
a leather jacket and a ponytail

there’s a graffiti artist
unknown to me
who has been spray painting
empty silhouettes
(the kind police mark corpses with)
on freeway overpasses
and the sides of earthquake dilapidated buildings
with small sayings inside
under a bridge that was only last summer
a city-sponsored homeless encampment

the cold wind penetrates thin unnatural polyester
like a dull needle through scar tissued vein
and I feel too lucky
watching an old man at the bus station
as he paces back and forth unable to stay warm

I have thermal underwear on
gloves and a leather jacket

there is a graffiti artist
madly spray painting
empty silhouettes
with timely messages
in ugly places
for the unwanted of LA

I wait for my name to appear

Sue Lawler barely graduated from Continuation High School and has dabbled in higher education by dropping out of three different Community Colleges. Sue was a member of Poets In Distress. In her free time, Sue likes to get into road rage traffic altercations, monitor the parking situation on her street, call the cops on loud parties, look for gainful employment and alienate friends and acquaintances both new and old. This poem first appeared in Invocation LA: Urban Multicultural Poetry.


2 thoughts on “October Poem of the Month – Sue Lawler

  1. here’s a sonnet that’s about some graffitti i had the pleasure of witnessing.

    Driving west over Cesar Chavez bridge,
    L.A. river’s green-black shine seeps slowly.
    I notice something right above the sludge,
    thick, black, image, not sprayed, but rolled badly.
    Phantom Heart painted in the concrete bed.
    Cracks in the cement fissure to the water.
    Not the regular swirled script, hard to read,
    red orange “art”, but a ghost written letter.
    The lonely message will haunt me all day,
    monochrome and sad. I’ll watch it appear,
    wonder who did it, were they alone? why?
    It might be jokers laughing together
    at cars crossing to downtown confusion,
    our eyes left to draw their own conclusions

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