Spokesman Review – I am Spokane

I am Spokane

I am Jingle Boy, the cat with tag and bell
I am the Ridpath with jazz singers on the roof top
I am the bridges falling down
I am the mills on the river, the farmers in the field

I am the heron at Manito pond, the moose along the Latah
I am the lilac princesses of 1998
I am the hill to the hospital overseeing town
I am the swinging bridge to the island where they dumped the chamber pots

I am breakfast at the Satellite
I am Dicky playing piano, Mark playing a glass with a dirty yellow spoon
I am the old Monkey Wards where the city council meets
I am the booze joint and the drag club, Miss Mylar on the mic

I am the Klemmer, the State, the Met, the Bing
I am the Fox, I am burlesque queens and boxers
I am the skaters under the freeway
I am the salmon caught in baskets

I am the street where suffragettes marched, where we protested Vietnam
I am the naked beach at the People’s Park
I am lilacs and roses in the garden
I am Willy Wiley petting a raccoon

I am the marmot eating Cheetos off the chest of the naked man
I am the ponderosa pine dropping needles on the ground
I am the wind blowing farm dust, west to gust
I am drunks standing by the freeway, pilots at the airbase

I am the women with grenade launchers in fussy lilac dresses
I am a margarita at the Baby Bar, a poem in the mouth
I am the giant stacks at the Steamplant by the railroad and its track
I am the children feeding the garbage eating goat

I am Dixie on her bicycle and George burying drawings in the park
I am chickens at E. Sprague Northwest Seed and Pet
I am ravioli at Cassano, Pho at Vien Dong
I am beer and Irish Whiskey

I am Spokane


This poem was created in a workshop with Spokane Poet Laureate,  Laura Reed, at Spark Central and published in the book, I am Spokane, and then again in the Spokesman Review in 2016.

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