David Salner



trucked in from Jersey
with a little dirt. Also,
romaine and dressing.
When I get back from Rockaway,
after I’ve gotten the sand out,
I'll wash them under cold water
and use a sharp knife.

on my way home from work
I'll look for meat on sale
and something I can use
for a starch—coffee filters,
some brandy, and The News
so I can read about
a wide receiver’s ACL.

these old buildings
were built for Jewish immigrants.
Some facts are meat to chew on.
I'll slice the zuchini and onions
and then go out
for margarine,
a little hamburger,
and some aspirin.

at the liquor store
that never opens its grating
I’ll pick up something
in a dry Chilean
then chick peas,
cucumbers, and peppers.
A clean breeze
flutters in the curtains.



David Salner worked as an iron ore miner, steelworker, and machinist. His poetry is deeply influenced by the people he knew during the 25 years he worked at manual trades. His poems have appeared in Threepenny Review, North American Review, Witness, and Poetry Daily. He received a Puffin Foundation grant to study the real history behind the John Henry myth. His poem sequence, John Henry’s Partner Speaks, was published in January 2006 by Pudding House. His fourth collection is due out from Word Tech in 2008. Now semi-retired, Salner lives in Frederick MD with his wife, Barbara Greenway, a high school English teacher.


Published in Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 2007.