Summer in the City, a poem


“Even so, there were times I saw freshness and beauty. I could smell the air, and I really loved rock ‘n’ roll. Tears were warm, and girls were beautiful, like dreams. I liked movie theaters, the darkness and intimacy, and I liked the deep, sad summer nights.” Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

The warmth and longer days now in Northern California bring to mind summers in the City of Ultimate Bliss.

The heat rose that summer, as it did every year,
in thick nauseating sooty waves from red bricked
buildings, black asphalt and gray sidewalks,
the unrelenting humidity trapping us in sweat.
Brooklyn it seemed, that younger heaven,
had slipped into the Hudson and found its way
out to the great Atlantic and on to some tropic.
We so yearned for an air-conditioned escape,
cold sodas and chilled bowls of ice cream.
Cool back then could be had for the purchase of
two red tickets, one for my mom and one for me.
Only fifty-cents each for air-conditioned movie seats,
heart-throbbing honey-dreams and sugared
drops of sultry lives and deftly stirred emotions.

© 2016, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved


Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writing.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.


Trafficking in Dreams, a poem

courtesy of morgueFile
courtesy of morgueFile

We sat on the worn stone steps of summer
on salty Brooklyn nights in Dyker Heights,
senior year pending, pregnant with promise.
Hours of sipping cokes, jamming sessions.

Stan on drums. Tony played keyboard.
You sang bass and strummed a new guitar.
Your saucy sister chorine sprinkled star dust.
We were just kids trafficking in dreams.

You’d drive me home at curfew in your
dad’s blue Nova, into a violet dusk, the
maple shadows standing guard by Mom’s.
Now gone. Gone, you and our old roost . . .

No more of your music. No old friends.
Just meandering the strangest streets,
mumbling something off-key, strumming
the memory of you, a new guitar, and the last
of the summers when we trafficked in dreams.

“Of love and summer,  you are in the dreams and in me …”  Walt Whitman 

© 2017, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers

We continue with the current recommended read: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. Left, right or center – American or not – it’s a must read.

LESSON THIRTEEN: HINDER THE ONE-PARTY STATE “The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.” Prof. Snyder,  On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Go to art, not war.

Poem on …

The Stone Creek

file0001381132763no rain that summer
no clouds for the sun to part like veils

the stoney bed of the creek so dry,
we walked on it, finding the tiny skeletons
of wild things – a deer mouse, a fish head

a heat deranged cat visited, brown and scraggy,
beaming her anger from yellow eyes,
her maw quirky and dry
her tongue gone mad

© 2013, poem , Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photo courtesy of morgueFile