At an intersection between confusion and grandiosity

rag people take unscheduled turns into “No Outlet,”

rummaging through trash cans and dumpsters,

wander into the bazaars of thrift stores and flea markets

to salvage yesterday’s costumes for dress up

in black bowlers, canes, 20’s hats festooned with

paper flowers, shaggy shawls, ankle-length dresses,

Art Deco sunglasses, oversized dangling earrings


These harlequins of the byways wander willy-nilly

in their freedom to be odd, whispering to themselves

along boulevards of large cities, fiercely guarding

new-found marvels in large paper sacks, one in

each hand, eyes on the lookout for pirates and police


Motorists hurtling past these sidewalk oracles pushing

stolen grocery carts stuffed with homemade lifetimes

will one day want their grandchildren to have what is

hidden in those bundles of the collected self but they

don’t know it yet, smirk to themselves they really

don’t give a damn


They hold their steering wheels tight, eyes fixed

between dotted lines leading outside city limits

into cul-de-sacs where leaves are always raked,

doors always locked against what startling spectacles

are soon to cartwheel down the dead-end streets that

guard them against the strange and vast unknown