Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI
The baskets, handlebars, the back tire swerve.
Light snow over in the dark. The back tire
over the light, the load. And a little
after 5 a.m. the heavy baskets, hill.
All my trouble rolled down. Cold fingers,
the paper load, gloves only partly. The rolled
and the rolled. Taped handlebars, apartment dark
rows. For my trouble, rubber band, a dog,
the heavy baskets. Deliver and deliver.
Alarms they have not yet heard. Fingers in
the cold gloves only partly. All my trouble
to deliver. The swerve, a dog. Snow back tire
over after 5 a.m. The basket load down
a light snow hill, my trouble in the dark.
Subway Guitars Bicycles, Berkeley, CA
Kickstands and the grease caked on. The spokes, grease,
gaps in the spoke lace. Another country.
Quarter or half turns, some days, smell of damp
and the tape deck. The tape I brought. The spokes
bent and the beat-up tape deck, one bulb,
wobbly rim. The spoke wrench, quarter or half turns,
which pedal threads in reverse. Slowly the rim,
gaps in the spoke lace. At least truer. The grease,
beat-up, the tape I brought back from another
country. Which pedal. Slowly, smell of damp,
some days no-one comes. Kickstands. Quarter
or half, the spokes bent, the tape, at least
truer. Some days, the smell of. One bulb,
the wobbly rim. From another country.
"Something Like Trouble"- Ellen Langford
Dan Alter's poems have lately been published in Burnside Review, Field, Fourteen Hills, Pank, and Zyzzyva among others. He lives with wife and daughter in Berkeley and makes his living as an electrician. He holds an MFA from Saint Mary’s College. He can be found online at https://danalter.net/.