Larry Narron: 3 Poems


It's not the heart

that broke,

it's the promise—


an antique

clock that now keeps

its hands


in its pockets,


the springs


they straightened,

that now keeps

a blank,






on mine

as it lies

about time.


Creation Myth

for Kool Herc

            Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?

                                                            —Tupac Shakur

In a valley

of shriveled fire


escapes, he plucks

a discarded


cardboard box

from a dumpster,


tears out the staples

as if they are thorns.


Unfolding each

delicate petal,


he rubs his palms

over the creases


to flatten what was

thought to have wilted.


Here he will re-

sow the undreamed of


in concrete

& nourish a field


until it blooms

for his neighborhood's


pleasure: a dance

hall without walls,


without a ceiling,

with the sun


for a mirror ball,

with the whole


sky to make room

for their moves.

Golden Era

for Brandon, Armando, Garrett, & Joe

Long before rappers

guzzled cough syrup

to numb their tongues


so all their words

dulled into mumbles

that all bled into one,


we gathered in circles

under parking lot lights

& passed around


piss-colored forties—

elixirs of violence

fermented with such


surprising sweetness.

We cared for each

word as the serifs


of their letters were

so delicately sharpened,

the handle of every


syllable held, nurtured,

rocked into reverie gently

by the hardest beats.


We savored a potency

we tasted in each drop

& saved the last


of the poetry just

to spill it, to pour it

out for all the dead


emcees, then threw

bottles in the street

just to hear them shatter.

Larry Narron is a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Phoebe, Santa Clara Review, The Brooklyn Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, Tilde, The Boiler, and elsewhere. They've been nominated for the Best of the Net and Best New Poets. 

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