Sue Blaustein (22 Jan, 2018)

“…at the speed of a reborn man”


“A musician, if he’s a messenger, is like a child who hasn’t been handled too many times by man, hasn’t had too many fingerprints across his brain.”   Jimi Hendrix

I love Wisconsin Paperboard because

it thrums with shreds,

set beside a slow stretch

of river. When empty


semi-trailers unhook, I hear

the rhythmic beep

from their cabs – released

and backing up across the yard.


Geese mutter and dip

below the concrete outfall, sheltered

from the malevolent

public eye.  They recapture

their selves here – they’re un-comical


and calmly attuned –

like an imaginative child

with a school hall pass – pausing

alone in a stairwell.




Mallards paddle

in constant strokes, grunting

with orange beaks.

Their vivid purplish heads go

streaming by,


while motorcycles green

as aphid’s wings roar

the North Avenue bridge

past squad cars idling

in front of Open Pantry.


The countertops

blare cartoon red,

and mutable retail waters

cycle through condensers

and metal fins.


There are gurgles

and drips – like creation –

(Jimi Hendrix first hearing

“Little Wing”)

then infant ice cubes thunder

into the bin.

Title from “Message of Love”, by Jimi Hendrix

The Dream Bar


Mrs. Eva Reed’s tavern
is kept dark as caves
where those fascinating
blind fish are studied.
I study Mrs. Reed. I wonder
why she opens every day,
with Walnut Street so far
from what it was.
The TV keeps her company
– embarrassing spade-foot toads
today – mating madly on public
television, Channel 10.

“…at the speed of a reborn man” first appeared in Kudzu Review and appears in her book,  In the Field, Autobiography of an Inspector.

“The Dream Bar” first appeared in Freesia McKee and Anja Notanja Sieger’s anthology Permeable to the Year and appears in her book,  In the Field, Autobiography of an Inspector.