Notes on a Riot – New York City Blackout 1977 – by Dan Stathers


The Mets are at the bottom of the sixth
when lightning trips
on the circuit breakers
and downtown Manhattan blinks;

game show hosts are cut
mid-question, fridges arrest
and beneath the vanishing high-rise
narcoleptic traffic lights sleep.


In smothering upper Fahrenheits
glass webs are spun –
stores get mugged in Brooklyn,
alarms sing out on Broadway,
smoke ghosts a path to City Hall
while hip-hop is born on Valentine Avenue.

Fifty pristine Pontiacs
are rustled from their showroom
and sitting alone in the Yonkers dark
is a .44 calibre killer.



Dan Stathers is a widely published poet and recent distance learning graduate. He lives in South Devon.

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