Dan Gutstein



Evenly spaced houses with boulder sized rips in their rooftops. Plywood in place of windows or no windows at all. Subset of a gridwork always gray as seen from the portholes of an arriving airplane. A neighborhood scored by jet wash false alarms ordinary siren at midday midnight. The block. A stretch. Several turns away from the postwar flicker that drove steam shovels and swamp dozers to create. The future could derive or the future a hardening breath. A clean automobile beneath an empty streetlamp in easy sunlight. A limp all hip pair of old legs in extra belted trousers where an empty lot features a wet couch burnt plank brick. At the intersection the sore eyes of a stoplight. Electric wire crisscrossing why what for an old ivy wall dealership. Its jut up façade a checkerboard. Half dusty windowglass half plywood and the one woman howling into a bullhorn does not protest.


Daniel Gutstein is A visiting assistant professor of creative writing at George Washington University. He is the author of a collection of short/short fiction, non/fiction (Edge Books, 2007). His poems and stories have appeared in TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, and Best American Poetry (2006) as well as aboard metrobuses in Northern Virginia. He has received grants and awards from the MD State Arts Council, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the University of Michigan, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He has also worked as an editor-in-chief, international economist, farm hand, tae kwon do instructor, reporter, theatre arts educator, and disabilities professional.


Published in Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 2007.

Read more by this author:
Daniel Gutstein
Gutstein's Tribute to Dudley Randall: The Memorial Issue
Poet, Translator, and International Man of Intrigue: The Rod Smith Interview by Daniel Gutstein (The Profiles Issue)