Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lori-Lyn Hurley


In the blacklit attic of his friend’s house,
chicken in the curve of the country road,
Jethro Tull and vodka OJ,
he teaches me sweet smoke shotgun
tongue kiss without the tongues,
tight corduroy, zippers and velvet.
Somebody’s mama yelling downstairs,
he lowers the weight of sixteen years
down across my fourteen while
Pink Floyd thrums my veins,
all bump and grind,
all sound and fury,
cheating dance and soft-turned sorry.
His sad eyes, her cute coat;
I was just a passing thing,
but real as the back door he broke open
to raid the minister’s liquor.
One night, one night, then two,
we slipped away like lovers.
And even though time has left us there
in that tight upstairs room,
it will always be the expressway somewhere
and roach clips on the rearview,
his hand on my thigh.


  1. from Phil Turner:

    Another bold and direct poem. There is nothing academic about it. Although the language is not controlled enough and can perhaps be argued to lack absolute precision (words and phrases like 'it was just a passing thing') since some of its lines could be strengthened or totally reinvented, still the situation of it is very planned, more than I can do in any poem right now. 'Blacklit attic' is very strong, so is the reality of the minister's liquor cabinet back door. Overall, this is a good poem, one of maturity, though in my eyes, its meaning could have been far deeper. I find it refreshing, however, that the writer never allowed herself to become divorced of the situation in her language. That makes the poem real and I forget that I am supposed to be reading only a poem!

  2. This poem has so many exciting elements - sensusal, sensory (all 5!), and memorial. As I read the words, I was there in that barn, listening to Tull and the Floyd. And I think of how many times I was that "passing thing." This poem is about the epiphany of youth and the memories that stay even as the narrator ages.