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Late Night: Poetry Slam

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Marilyn Hacker is one of my favorite poets. I found her work by accident, by reading this online and then I went out and devoured everything she’d written:

The city where I knew you was swift.
A lover cabbed to Brooklyn
(broke, but so what) after the night shift
in a Second Avenue
diner. The lover was a Quaker,
a poet, an anti-war
activist. Was blonde, was twenty-four.
Wet snow fell on the access
road to the Manhattan Bridge. I was
neither lover, slept uptown.
But the arteries, streetlights, headlines,
phonelines, feminine plural
links ran silver through the night city
as dawn and the yellow cab
passed on the frost-blurred bridge, headed for
that day’s last or first coffee.

I have considered, several times, getting that first line tattooed on me somewhere.

What’s your favorite poem?


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Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.