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

  • January 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      How the Wind Works
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Sleep Walker
      by Brenda Levy Tate
      PenShells

      Third Place

      The Woman Who Grew up in My House Finds Me on Facebook and Comes to Take a Look Around
      by Antonia Clark
      The Waters

  • December 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Tires
      by Kenny A. Chaffin
      Babilu

      Second Place

      Scouring Pots While the World Ends
      by Elizabeth Koopman
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Poetry in the Cultural Revolution
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters