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New Poets Wednesday - Hard Times - by Dan Gleason

Updated: Feb 11

Dan Gleason, Scottsdale, AZ, earned an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared regularly in national magazines for five decades, and his writing has won awards. He sold two non-fiction books to Random House and Penguin and recently completed his first screenplay, “My Week with Dillinger.” He teaches creative writing at two universities and says that while he enjoys reading poetry, this is his first poem since high school.


Hard Times By Dan Gleason


Dead of winter and I’m hoofing it down a dark alley, some slummy inner city. Headlong into the teeth of a nasty wind, freezing rain stinging my face like needles. Puddles of rain seep into the hole in the sole of my Converse high tops. Hands stuffed deep in my pockets. I can’t feel my fingers. Some phantom sepia tone image leaps out at my memory --piles of frozen German soldiers stacked like cords of wood at Stalingrad because Hitler wouldn’t spring for no coats. I got 32 cents in my pocket, no checking, no savings, no prospects. I glance to my right and spot a huge rat, huddled next to a garbage can . . . eating an onion --and crying! So, please don’t tell me about your humble beginnings.




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