Two Poems by Wayne Mason

Thinking About Philip Levine

Midnight at work thinking
about Philip Levine and how
the factories are a little more
hopeless without him here

I wish I could have met him
to tell him his poems kept
me sane, his words got me
through many cruel nights

I would have told him that
he gave me hope… not that
I would ever be a laureate but
that I could survive unbroken

That because of him I could
find beauty amid the suffering
truth beyond bleak smokestacks
music in the hum of machinery

I’d tell him that I kept his letter
framed above my desk, and that
his kind words to a hungry poet
meant more than any publication

Not too long before he passed
he gave a reading close by but I
had to work instead, and I’m sure
he would have likely understood


3am Soundtracks

At 3 am in this old factory when
it’s all too much to bear and the
darkness of night consumes me
like a lifeless sprawling black hole

Sometimes words can’t capture
the weariness of these bleak hours

But bleeding through the solitude
is the soft hum of machinery and
a forklift moaning, in the distance
the sound of tired gravelly voices

While Coltrane wails on the radio
saying more than any poem could

One Response to “Two Poems by Wayne Mason”

  1. […] two poems, 3am Soundtracks and Thinking About Philip Levine are up over at the always stellar Rusty Truck. Poems about factories are hard to get of your system, when you can’t escape from the system, […]

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