Attractions by John Allman



He's dancing in the street, chanting his poems, waving a claw hammer, the towel wrapped around him like a prayer shawl. The police are on their way. All the neighbors think about is how many bags of marijuana are in his basement room, how he studied the ancient secrets in Safad, while the great tenors sang in Berlin for taxes. His poems sound like a flute above the traffic, causing injuries to passers-by in heart, lungs, liver, intestines. An opinion falls out of a sergeant's brain. The police are almost here. Young Netyana sits on a stoop and weeps for him, her beloved, the stone beneath her thighs ancient as Pangaea, the origin of the world. In his poems, volcanic heat, water, ice. His blunt hammer flattens the air and the city is deformed. The police are dizzy and have lost their way. Inside the car driving past is a tether holding a child in place. Inside the tether is the fiber from which he weaves the poem. Inside the fiber are the 2,000 memories of the first dawn.