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Monk Dreams

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I surrender, dear.

This locomotive is on fire.

Meet me at the riverside,

’round midnight, or in Tokyo
where the chimneys are green

and the monks, alone with their hair
shirts and dark desires

dream of life on easy street.

We’ll populate our world

with comfortable furniture, glasses
full to the brim, and raise four

for Miles and Bird. Life is a chain

of consequences, a song

you find yourself riffing on

as you go, bending notes, sliding in
and out of key — the major, the minor,
the flatted 7ths — all the colors

that kaleidoscope this dream

we keep dreaming, this boogie-woogie,

bebop life, this runaway train. 

—Jason Irwin

Jason Irwin is the author of A Blister of Stars (Low Ghost, 2016); Watering the Dead (Pavement Saw Press, 2008), winner of the Transcontinental Poetry Award; and the chapbooks Where You Are (Night Ballet Press, 2014) and Some Days It's A Love Story (Slipstream Press, 2005). He grew up in Dunkirk, N.Y., and now lives in Edgewood.


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