IMAGE:  April 2003  GRAPHIC:  University of Chicago Magazine
 
APRIL 2003
Volume 95, Issue 4
 
 
   
LINK:  Features
Unexpected Expertise  
Poetic Justice  
Survival of the Richest
Food-Court Press  

Clouding the Issues

 
 
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Poetic Justice

SECOND PRIZE
Pockets

You have a pocket, pockets, all over, front, back, side, outside, inside, and within these pockets are perhaps other pockets and within those still others, an infinite line of pockets, or maybe a circle that leads back to the original pocket, and you put your hand in your pocket and maybe you feel something in there and you realize that what you have is just not enough to give to someone else and so you’ll stay alone and your hands will be the only hands in your pockets which is fine because sometimes there are good things in these pockets, forgotten things, stale gum, a joint you never finished smoking, a stamp, lint you were saving, a paper clip, a vacation brochure, matches, some spare change (though never in the same pocket, or else it’d jingle against itself and you’d notice it, broke as you are), and of course the keys, which you have been looking for, which made you go through your pockets in the first place, and you finally find the keys and back your way out of your pockets, into the open air between your hand and the car door, you get in and put the key in the ignition, the car starts but as you back it out of the space it doesn’t seem like your car, though you drive it anyway towards home, which when you get there doesn’t really seem like your home, though the key works in the door and you walk in with your hands in your pockets, putting the keys in one of them though you don’t remember which, and maybe there are some people in your home playing pool or billiards or something, you don’t think you know them but they seem to know you, and they kind of smile but mostly look unhappy as they announce to you, sorry, you just lost the game you didn’t even know you were playing, please pay up, empty your pockets.

—Julian Cohen, AB’91

Cohen, who is vice president and group strategic planning director at DDB Chicago, writes screenplays in his free hours. He has previously published poems in Strong Coffee and Mangrove.


Select a poem:

First Prize - Potter's Song

Second Prize - Pockets

Third Prize - Little Red Schoolhouse

Honorable Mention - Lowdown Lovesick Blues

Honorable Mention - Unavoidably Detained

 

 


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