back

top

SHAKING THE MAGIC EIGHT BALL

Soleil Garneau

 

i went out lookin’ for something

like i go out every day

 

i walk

   the broken concrete

and think of what else won’t be fixed

 

there’s the louisiana lottery

there’s hope

 

there are coffee roasters

   that  smell sweet

    smell like burning

    and i’m sick

 

i think about a city burning

i think of a church on a hill

   of birds

   of the marsh   the levee

how

dogs all bark at dusk

echoing one another up and down the

streets from inside homes    from yards

 and

we’re   all  crowded   into    this  thing

 

i watch

two people lean on each other

 

the state is always failing us

                    always

it’s how things work

 

i move slow and

can’t tell if   i’m

passing through town or

town’s passing through

me

 

i’m

looking into a crystal ball

like

everything is dusk and

we walk around till            morning

          

           till  everything  is    pale blue or

 

gold

 

 

Soleil Garneau was born and raised in New Jersey. She works as waitress, and otherwise spends her time reading, writing, and crafting. She is currently based in Los Angeles.

"I think this poem began when I was biking to my job one morning. Riding a bike in New Orleans, there are some things you accept without question - like knowing where the potholes are on your routes. I noticed an ad for Daughters of Charity (a local non-profit healthcare provider for low-income and under-served patients) that read “healthcare that won’t leave you behind.” I was thinking of what does leave you behind, what’s always broken, the infrastructural failures we see every day.

But then - everything continues on.

The last few bits I wrote about the night time and enchantment - walking around and watching evening become night become morning. The crystal ball as a metaphor for voyeurism, or a separation from what I’m looking at, which is really just my surroundings. It ends in a place of acceptance, appreciation, or maybe complacency."