MW Jaeggle lives in Vancouver, BC, where he studies at Capilano University. Past work has appeared in The Liar.
Bring your head low
to the sidewalk
a bit lower. Yes, there. Now listen.
A history caught in cracks/crevices.
The clicking of heels and the sway of skirts, as a new creed emerges
chasing servicemen, vindicating the rights of women. Baptême du feu – suffrage.
Lift that head higher. Yeah, there. Perfect, now listen to the next layer of antiquity.
Can you hear hitchhikers crisscrossing downtown streets?
Boys descending upon Jazz bars, trailing the disillusionment of the Lost Generation?
On certain nights, when it’s quiet enough, you can hear the howl of words on the road.
They swerve around street corners, climb down pale legs.
light poles poles and crawl up
Baby boomers gather on the next level, preaching substance.
Glimmers and remnants still remain even today, as Romanticism will never
flee from history.
At its peak, the water began to
recede. Although toes still get wet to the rhythm of a lapsing sea, the high water mark
doesn’t leave San Francisco. Now stand up, head straight.
Yeah. Over here.
This layer is all too thin, capturing recycled sights through discarded lenses:
footprints left on gum and cigarette butts. Seattle’s quick passing left stiff necks,
bruised thighs and ripped plaid. Teen anger stills and swells sidewalk cracks.
Look, no, listen before you friend.
Women with arched backs and scratched knees, enter rooms without purpose.
Hot and bothered, like a cat in heat, they exit to an unwelcoming night.
They cling to plastered boys as if a tick, eager to relinquish themselves of a southern ache.
Another ethos protrudes from this concrete. The thin façade settled over post-war ‘merica:
Inauthenticity marketed as organic and sold ethically to trust fund babies.
Nuked on high for four minutes, true to the Cold War tenet.
A counter-culture with no higher calling; drunk off prune juice and everything vintage.
These sidewalks you frequent seize a tale. Go about and create new ones. For me.