Keep it concrete. Neat. Enlongate both sentences
and piece. There’s a war in Syria, perhaps, or a junkie’s
needle in a haystack that needs further examination. Don’t
rhyme in the middle; reason throughout. Tell a story
instead of humming a song. Maybe there’s a soldier. Maybe
there’s a saint. Maybe there’s a small starving child somewhere
who walks three miles for clean water every day. Maybe she has
Keep it relevant and reverent, in the voice of the street. Yo,
it’s whack the way the sidewalks bleed. The way the yellow
don’t say saffron police tape blows around in the heat.
The way the steam rises from the asphalt. The way the cop
clicks his pen when he doesn’t want to ask a question. The
way the chalk might be a child’s drawing if you slant your
head just right.
Keep it going straight. Don’t play with staggered placement
or stutterings. The world’s relentless, all thud thud thud and
paperwork. The tale is wagging the dog. The dog is tired. The
tires are worn. There’s a Shell station up ahead with a burned
out S. Pray the air pressure gauge works. Pray it doesn’t. Grab
some beef jerky and some Fritos and some sort of unnaturally
green drink. Pay in quarters.
Keep the change.
Prompted by Toads.