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Three poems by KJ Hannah Greenberg.


Triple River City’s Cultural Editing


Quintessential blue-collar, triple river cities, like Pittsburgh,

All dragon sight, sound, smell, for the period of high steel production,

Could recite, probably even backwards, data about imports, economies,

The auto industry, war, foreign trade, ethnic neighborhoods, simultaneously.


“Speculative fiction” was not so hot as was hard science in the Sputnik/ Era,

During which “slipstream,” “steam punk,” as well as “urban fantasy,” ruled

Private fairytales of six digit-earning dreamers who scratched zits

Despite their pert secretaries, corner offices and access to racquetball spas.


Few geeks aligned themselves in ways which opposed nominal participation;

Country clubs called more softly than did free lunches, babysitting services,

In-house doctors, dry cleaning pickup, also laudatory assemblies

Featuring employs able to improve wireless or other convergent conveyances.


Accordingly, social playthings complimented each other, bringing about

Proscribed symmetry, spin, respect for thick glasses, entire complexes

Built of McMansions, a newfound respect for algebra, Latin, sushi,

AP Chemistry, buggy design, salty pretzels, texts sly with algorithms.


Under those conditions, briefly snagging readers’ attention meant

Fleshy offerings served up under the guise of: underdog heroes, the fabric

Of animal controllers vanquishing bobcats from northern California homes,

Maybe, the esteem captured from graduates from MIT, CMU, Northwestern.


These days, authors remain well advised to consider both their immediate consumers,

Plus the library patrons who palm phone booth change or pick pockets,

Seeking cell communicators, Star Trek memorabilia, LinkedIn passwords,

Lucky horseshoes, faked bar IDs, stick gum, unused prophylactics.


The transformation of breadwinners from sweats to suits,

Made clear, suddenly, universally, indisputably,

The problem with hybrids, half-baked notions, other mixed bloods.

In industry, like on the farm, mules get trumped by horses.


a line, (a blue one)



Sylvan Song


The trees talk, too.

Theirs are wonderful legends

Regarding olden folk.




a line, (a blue one)


My Fifty Year-Old Husband’s Sprouting


My fifty year-old husband’s sprouting well past

Manifest injuries, blues singing, researched hot tub indulgences.


No mixture of mashed potatoes, mayonnaise, leeks, continue to hold

Him to last generation’s essential quality of charm.


The man’s possessed of newfound tickets to potentially energizing

Folk festivals, also Asian drumming circles, retro clothing shows.


His multiply rewritten life script presently evokes

Entities devoid of the character sewn into our historical twinning.


Whereas some midlifers’ habits can be deterred

By ornate metal censers, he glows from all manners of sweet twigs.


Likewise, the practice of listing animals via alphabet letters does

Nothing but garner extra thanks from this sudden stranger.


As though tradition forces him to pay

More than once for staid experience, he balks predictions.


Mundane witnessing can’t dress a man refusing

Presumptive alembics, marital ways and means, age.


a line, (a blue one)


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