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The Past

Poetry, Jeffery Berg

It wasn’t all neon.

Many times, a dull pearl.

Pleasantly soft 

rubbered buttons 

of a Walkman and the black gold 

of The Beverly Hillbillies.

In our town we could find

at any time

an old or new 

Phil Collins song somewhere

on the radio. The words

of The Blind Assassin

falling away on the book-on-tape

in my station wagon.

A plot unremembered.

He’d get pissed when his pop icon 

was dissed—it’s easy to bind

oneself to another who’s more

ethereal, powerful—

maybe it’s all they have. Joni Mitchell’s 

“Carey” as the train glides 

past Manassas—tree-shaded

houses on flat land under dusk.

The sky: a band of rose 

under grey

until the grey darkens 

and all that’s left 

is ourselves 

and our luggage

and the band of rose

between the trees.


Jeffery Berg's poems have appeared in journals such as Impossible Archetype, the Leveler, Court Green, and Pine Hills Review. Jeffery lives between Jersey City and Provincetown and regularly reviews films for Film-Forward.


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