When I Go Out and Then Come Back

by Guy Kettelhack
Wild Poetry Forum
Honorable Mention, January 2018
Judged by C. Wade Bentley


When I go out
and then come back
with my psyche’s sack
as packed with the city

as all of the rest of me,
I’m coming back to New York
of course. Like the mane
is the horse, andouille

would not be but for pork,
and I am made out of New York,
not just in it. I’m a pure-grained
example of what New York

does to the unwary soul
in that famed New York minute.
It swallows you whole.
Even my iPhone colludes

in the business of keeping me
conscious of this, block to block.
When without mercy I’m shunted
from corner to curb in Manhattan

and seize up inside
from the shock, my iPhone
reliably counsels:
‘press home and unlock.’

Since I’m always and already
home, pressing home doesn’t
ever require a key. I press home
and unlock when I know there was

never a lock to begin with –
just me and the city and me
in the city and me as the city
and . . .


“ . . . my psyche’s sack/ as packed with the city . . .”—wonderful. Skillful use of sounds and repetition throughout. --C. Wade Bentley

  • March 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      At the Cancer Center
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Third Place

      At Last Ghazal
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Died Last Fall
      by ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

  • February 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      Grand Central Station
      by Christine Potter
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Back Stage
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      VFW
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block