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Where Gangstas Go To Die


Under the Samoa bridge, in fennel and berries, the smell
of rotting meat in a series of fatal clearings where
tweakers have rested to fantasize and murder one another
in strange ritual shootings which feature no survivors
above the indifferent flow of water inland

Humboldt State rowing team strokes up and down:
creeping javelin far out on water,
and thunder of pulp trucks over concrete arcs above
roaring toward Fairhaven under yellow scrawl
of caving rainclouds tied to earth by threads
of burning air;

empty suitcase beside municipal trail made of
top-grade asphalt spooned onto grass,
posted for safety, Do Not Leave Trail,
because you will be killed
because predators do not overlook mistakes,
and they are always hungry.

The 1091 tethered, battleship grey and of no obvious use,
high up the channel,
I stand along the bank watching seals cruise
with ebb and flow, the odd fishing boat that
comes along, the few seabirds that pause.

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About Crawdad Nelson

I have been a laborer, writer, editor, teacher and tutor. I was granted a poetic license at a memorable reading at St. Anthony's Hall, Mendocino, in 1987. I received Pushcart nominations in the early 90s, but nothing ever came of it. I used to read the Pushcart anthology cover to cover anyway. I've won some cash awards for both poetry and essays. I...read more published frequently in the 90s, not as much lately. I try to keep it brief and accurate.

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