Dead End • Marc Swan

He knows places
I held close—a flame
ignited illuminating
a path through
those early years:
streets with names
I barely recall
leading to intimate
venues I haunted
in the seventies,
some of the players
still on the heart
worn highway, voices
craggy, etched
with time. Light
is bright
in this place in my
head enlivened
by images conjured
up by this
odd character
in front of me—
thinning gray hair,
deep-seated eyes,
thatch of unruly
chin whiskers like
a macho cabrío
or a poor rendition
of Colonel Sanders.
Night wears
down to a thin coat,
air outside chilled
in late autumn.
An empty wine
bottle, dirty plates,
there may be
more to say, but
once again the clock
won’t turn back.


Marc Swan lives in Portland Maine, poems coming 
out this year in Cordite, Cold Mountain Review, 
Words & Images, and The Echo Room, among others. 
Simple Distraction, a collection of his poems from 
1989 to 2009, was published in 2009 by tall-lighthouse 
in London England. He recently left the regular 
work-a-day to focus on writing, travel and music, 
not necessarily in that order.