Here’s our third installment of “Bushwick Bohemia Beat Poetry” curated by Bushwick-born poet, Emanuel Xavier. The series features poems by local Bushwick residents and/or natives. This month’s poem comes from Robert Siek, a published poet living in Bushwick.
If you would like to be featured next month, send two to three poems (10 pages max) to [email protected] with the subject “Bushwick Bohemia Beat Poetry Submission.”
Poems should be attached as Word documents, 10 point, Times New Roman font, double spaced and set up as they should appear on the site if selected. Please include a brief 3-5 sentence bio and your personal relation to Bushwick with your current mailing address for verification. If submitting previously published work, please include appropriate publication credits. You’ll only receive an email if your poem is selected for publication.
Submissions are due on the first of every month, and the selected entry will be published in the final week of the following month.
Poems can be about anything at all, but contributors must currently live within the Bushwick area or have been born and/or raised in the neighborhood.
by Robert Siek
An empty Sprite can side down
on a subway seat, shiny green leftover
of someone lazy, the Hulk’s middle finger
severed and laminated.
He was gray in his earliest appearances,
kind of zombie flesh, what aged dead looks like,
in the first comic-book panes fought through.
And it’s moved to the floor,
nothing spilled out,
no puddle to avoid sitting in—I always look
first, because you never know what’s down there,
like leaks from adult diapers appearing as sweat,
wet being better late
and heading home, but cry worthy
at 8:28 a.m., still sleepy despite a cup of coffee,
when you fear turning green gripping a horizontal pole
overhead so squeezed
like meat hooked and hanging, a frozen slab
of steer inside a slaughterhouse freezer, so much
showing in public, an empty glass bottle
finished rolling against
your foot. And Hulk smash everything,
fists like sledgehammer heads, larger than watermelons;
when bad things happen to good people, a herd
of walking dead crowding you,
mouths open and moaning, two step on your toes.
The subway doors close, more peaceful tonight,
my forehead cooler, air-conditioned,
the Sprite can rolls away
seeking another’s company.
Robert Siek is the author of the poetry collection Purpose and Devil Piss and the chapbook Clubbed Kid. His second book of poetry We Go Seasonal will be published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2018.