Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Poetry » Realistic

18+ Language

Interstate 5897

by CowLogic

Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.

I wake up in a strange bed

strange in shape, as in a sofa

the walls are bleeding - Wait

no; it's the ceiling

now I stand in front of the mirror

black skin, black hair, black eyes


Now I'm in a rusty Civic without a registration on 3rd avenue

Tisha is driving, K is in passenger, Toni is in back with me and Gold

beats on the radio, by Dre

all the store windows display washable prints "vacancy" "everything must go"

all the storefronts display nonwashable paints "Young Yen" "fuck the police"

we pass the building where i grew up

a guy is out front drinking from a container of paint thinner


On every corner, a place to buy booze

on every side street, a gun store

on the corner of 3rd and Jefferson, an emergency health clinic

shut down


Jefferson connects to 43, which connects to I-5897

on the other side of I-5897, pale aliens live and work and play

I've never been there, but the houses are big

K has been there, laying bags and dropping dots

says they got cars for every day of the week

them buildings are new

put em up in the 60s. then the highway


a park, three kids, one vagrant,

three kids beating one vagrant, raiding his cart

the slide is broken


"And I done told my manager, you know what I'm sayin? I told him, I asked him, who the fuck do you think I am, nigga? Tellin' me I ain't workin' hard? I bust my ass erry day in that place, and what thanks do I get? Free food once a day, twice if they ain't watchin, you know I'm sayin'?"

Toni is talking

Toni is very obese.

she doesn't know this because she has not been to the doctor's since she was 13 and her 17 year old boyfriend put her in the emergency room

but she has something growing in her guts

something that never stops growing

until you stop growing cells


my dad died in jail

his dad died in jail

his dad's dad died on the way to trial

his dad's dad's dad died at the hands of a pale alien in Virginia with a whip

the whip had sharp rocks tied to the frayed end


I-5897 is shaped like a whip, if you're a bird

and now I am one

flying down Jefferson, flying down 43

landing right in the middle of the interstate

Standing in incoming traffic, on I-5897

my hands are raised

the cars screech to halt

doors open

people step out, white and brown


one by one, hands reach for the air

pulling down the sky - no

pulling down the dome

unearthing I-5897

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar
594 Reviews

Points: 106
Reviews: 594

Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:13 am
fortis wrote a review...

Cog I miss you, but your poem needs to be reviewed.

This is actually pretty good. Better than what I usually expect from you, no offence. I like the world that you set up. You filled in the important details. You told us a story. You gave a biography of this person and his friends. I like the allusions to history that you've made. Honestly, it was a really nice social justice piece. I could see this being a good spoken-word piece with a few adjustments here and there.

You spent a lot of time setting up the area. Actually, that seems like the purpose of this piece. To lay out Interstate 5897 and what kind of people and places there are there. You did a great job of this.

Honestly I'm trying to get to saying that it was a bit long and you should cut some unneeded things, but I think most of the lines here are needed, so I don't know what to tell you. Maybe go through and get rid of what you think you don't need?

The narrative was pretty good. I wish it skipped around a little less, or had more transitions, but honestly it's fine as it is.

I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
Keep writing wherever you are, Cog, you have a talent. Don't be a stranger.
~fortississississimo (fffff)

User avatar
9 Reviews

Points: 365
Reviews: 9

Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:37 pm
View Likes
KyotoMylo10 wrote a review...

Amazing. That's the word that trailed behind me as I read this spectacular piece of work. This appeals to me not only because I can relate, but because it is so emotionally moving that it's almost impossible not to finish reading, despite the elicit sadness portrayed. I applaud this author's beautiful work and I recommend it for anyone wanting to have today's politics and racial barriers explained in a few compacted stanzas. Great, great work!

CowLogic says...

Thanks for your kind words, KyotoMylo. Fight the good fight.

Facebook is that cockroach that you just can't kill
— Gravity