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Issue #4: Nonfiction

Kevin McLellan

Found Sound of Art

        They each hold half-empty 16 oz. plastic Coke bottles, but I smell alcohol. Rum? I’m waiting for the #1 bus after midnight along with a handful of Wentworth Institute of Technology undergraduate women who perpetually shrill from their undeniable throbbing centers in front of Symphony Hall. I’m aware of this unpleasant frequency. I’m aware of their short skirts. I’m aware of my age.        

        It’s early spring and layers aren’t keeping me warm. Earlier, I was assembled with friends around a chiminea and drinking red wine. Our last topic of discussion was poetic ranting. I mentioned that self-censorship must be fully abandoned in order for a ranting self to arise out of one’s own distinctive fire, thus creating something else, something not unlike smoke, which may be uncomfortable for those in close vicinity.        

        Are each of these college girls ranting? Is this ranting a collection of mating calls? Does this lack of harmony obfuscate each poetry? Are they able to rant without each other? As my mind ponders this series of questions, I’m startled by a pitch change because the bus has been spotted.        

        I board first and move to the back. They board together and congregate near the front. Their noise, like smoke, circulates. The other passengers have taken notice of them. I can only decipher sporadic words. We pass the Christian Science Center and then pick up more passengers at Newbury Street. Still their noise circulates and crowds. We travel over the Mass Ave bridge stopping at MIT where they flutter and alight. The quiet bus accelerates and this is when I begin to miss them.





Kevin McLellan is the author of the chapbooks Shoes on a wire (Split Oak, forthcoming) runner-up for the 2012 Stephen Dunn Prize in Poetry and Round Trip (Seven Kitchens, 2010), a collaborative series of poems with numerous women poets. He has recent or forthcoming poems in books and journals including: 2014 Poet’s Market, American Letters & Commentary, Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Fourteen Hills, Horse Less Review, Kenyon Review Online, Poetry East, Sixth Finch, Thrush Literary Journal (nominated for Pushcart), Western Humanities Review, Witness and numerous others. Kevin lives in Cambridge MA, and sometimes teaches poetry workshops at URI.

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