Wanda Coleman’s Roar

I don’t smoke weed, I smoke palm
trees. I rise into clouds like

the 110-105 interchange. I take back
airspace from a LAPD chopper, examining

freeways; concrete ribbons, anchoring our smog
and beaches to the West Coast. Each night

I dream about Wanda Coleman.
She tells me one day I’ll be

as big as the Watts Towers. She says,
point your finger in any direction, eventually

you’ll hit a freeway. Her laugh, a roar.
I marvel at how Manchester Ave. creeps

into Firestone Blvd. I promise myself
when the freeways begin to crumble,

and the city drifts …

PARKED, TEXAS

Yes—alone, I could stop for anything.
Fossil bed at a river’s wrist. Hello

aoudad on Blue Mountain, javelina
gnawing cactus. Stinky the cat hiding

in a closet. Every bee takes an …

Steep Ravine

Between sagebrush and the lichened rocks,
a covey of quail employ themselves.

Light disperses in the spray, and a seal
ducks under again. Home for them.

Swell and curl, the untrained wave

VERNEINUNG

In Belgrade in my hotel room
I return to the self portraits
from the earlier work:

smoking in the tub
while reading
texts on the New Art Practice.

When I step …

The State of Jefferson

Trucks shuffle in the slow lane.
Mt. Shasta’s a crazy white cone.
I drive as fast as I dare.
Car my shelter, my tiny house
of spiders’ nests and trash. …

Erica Goss Wins Zócalo’s Eighth Annual Poetry Prize

Driving Through The State of Jefferson, a Land of 'Few People and a Few Million Cows'

Every Friday at Zócalo Public Square we publish a new poem. Our daily ideas journalism and free public events aim to connect people and ideas, exploring our shared human condition …