Jim Zola, “The Celery Flats of Kalamazoo”

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The Celery Flats of Kalamazoo

Sometimes late at night, I’d stop my car
to listen, not sure what I expected
to hear. Maybe the whispering of stalks.
If it happened to be autumn,
everyone up and down Hoover Ave
smoldered piles of leaves by the curb.
I drove home half blind, through the war zone.
Homer spoke of it, selinon
to rally the urges, wreathe
the heroic. Now at night, I tell
the children how things will sprout
from their heads if they lie. I forget
how the story ends. After they fall
asleep, I sit on the porch and drink,
using the stalk to stir the blood.


Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children’s librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook, The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press), and a full-length poetry collection, What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC.


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