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Poem of the Month
 

Alicia Suskin Ostriker is a major American poet and critic. She is the author of numerous poetry collections, including, most recently, The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog; The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems, 1979–2011; and The Book of Seventy, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. She has received the Paterson Poetry Prize, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award, among other honors. Ostriker teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Drew University and is currently a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

 

June 2017

From Waiting for the Light

by Alicia Suskin Ostriker

 

TIMES SQUARE

Great white way when I was a tender ten
first time downtown agape at cheerful billboard

smoke rings every four seconds puffed from the painted
lips of a man who would walk a mile for a Camel

then sordid shabby & sleazy, risky & stinky & low
digital Godzillas catapulted from manhole

now crazy clean your Disney scene
warrior girl in heels, boy with banana

sky-high waxed torsos & the crawl at the bottom
to let us know how the Dow is doing this very minute

selling everything in the world—luxury limos, lattes
fashion entertainment & sport
—your neon fire

forever changing forever displaying the same
intolerable unquenchable human desire

 

© 2017, Alicia Suskin Ostriker. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2017 University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.