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Jack Clark, Senior-Class-Poet Contestant: Untitled #1

Jack-Clark2To honor the University’s Senior-Class-Poet contestants and to commemorate National Poetry Month, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems, which are displayed throughout the first floor.

Each spring semester, all seniors are encouraged to enter the Senior-Class-Poet Contest.

……………………Untitled #1

……………………by Jack Clark

A cool breeze strikes his face as he walks down the street,
The ever persistent rain soaking his clothes as he reaches for his mittens.
Two holes in the right mitten,
Enough to remind him that he is in fact cold.
The left one is missing the tips of the pointer and middle finger.
It’s February 23rd and it’s raining.
He thinks of nothing but how wet his socks are inside what he calls shoes.
No laces, holes in the sole, the cloth that was at one time white is now brown.
And to think it’s only Monday.
To go home would mean going back to the park, the subway, the alley way.
He turns around to head in what seems to be the right direction.
His hair collects the rain and lets it slowly run down his face into his beard and eventually down to his shirt
His watch reads quarter past 7.
The subway is only a half a mile away and he can already feel the warmth of the dry shelter.
The smell of freshly cooked hot dogs emanates from the underground.
A smell so delicious he can taste it with every inhale.
As he enters the subway he curiously looks around for company,
A middle aged, overweight police officer, an anxious looking woman and the hot dog vendor.
With a sigh he walks over to the vendor and asks him how much a hot dog is.
$4.
Four dollars. Four dollars.
He turns around in time to see the train leave,
Leaving him alone in the subway to look for a place to call home.

“Poetry has always been a great way for me to capture the world I see around me and manifest it into something tangible. People channel this desire in many different ways, in many different artistic manners, and for me that artistic manner happens to be poetry. The story in this poem, which I have left Untitled, is not something I have directly experienced, but everyone has seen a homeless person; everyone has walked by a homeless person and made that split second decision: do I give him or her the two dollars in my pocket? I thought it would be powerful to write a poem from a homeless man’s perspective, albeit it is written from the third person; I tried to capture the feeling and emotion so the reader could empathize with this anonymous man and maybe understand his plight.”

Jack Clark is an English and economics major from Marblehead, Mass.: a small north-shore fishing town that borders the infamous “Witch Town” of Salem, Mass.

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Last Modified: May 4, 2013