Five Poems

John Zedolik

Photo Credit: Nicole Yeary/Flickr (CC-by)

The Image Persistent

The El stop toward the back of the Loop,
not so far from the river, comes to me while
I read a Katherine Anne Porter short story
featuring a structure similar but in the Big Apple
set well more than half a century ago;

however, the image of the Chicago El has come to
mind repeatedly in the last thirteen years without the
obvious prompt, so

I wonder why those patterns of steel and wood hover
then dive at times to me without a connection to
current image in mind or sight. They

must push the air eternal, waiting with
wings to brush my vision at the slightest
summons, unknown to my conscious self but
apparent deep below but not deep enough to

avoid those dips from distance, staying,
not so far


Hot Core

She is frustrated in her student fervor,
crumpled upon her problem, a world
intent upon its mantle and core, where
writhes the heat and

magnetic pull generated of molten
iron and in turn generating aurora
australis and borealis to battle the
cosmic rays of that sun which can

be killer—so she continues, intent upon
solution, when she can turn toward sky
and add her own beams to the display—
and the fight


Scent Sign

The bathroom is redolent of licorice,
a not-unpleasant sensation, on the first
floor of the career development center,

the job-seeker takes steps to end his
search and the unpleasantness of his
life, so takes

the sweet scent as a harbinger of coming
prosperity amid the tile and stainless steel
hard as

the world outside that must, the seeker surmises
—even so—
contain air similar.


Benign Business

We siblings called
the hollowed-out,
irregular pit

around the telephone pole
at the edge of the yard
“the factory,” for what reason

I cannot recall but do remember
the small, rounded stones we
scooped and manipulated

even when they were wet
with water from some unknown
source that I do believe

was relatively clean since I
don’t recall any ill effects,
as would have occurred

in say, seventeenth-century
London, wiping us all out
as a result of our play,

not making particularly
anything but piles of
innocence in that

imaginary manufacturing concern


Ever Ripe

The banana card came back even though it was the
best birthday card because it was about getting spotted
but getting tastier as it and you aged—

because you had no more use for it in your new state
where you will not receive any cards or cake but we will
celebrate the date anyway, and I will keep the

banana card, the fruit curving as if gesturing “tah-tah” to time
or turned on its side smiling in whimsy,
in all its yellow glory ripening and preserving
your presence in time even as yours has been over


John Zedolik’s iPhone is now his primary poetry notebook, and he hopes his use of technology in regard to this ancient art form continues to be fruitful. Email: principium14[at]

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