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Volume 3 Number 2 • Fall 2011

Laura Brandenburg

35th And Chicago

A little unhappiness is not a bad thing.
Young women walk with restless children at midnight, three hundred years
I've walked with a stone at the back of my heel.
It's a diamond no one sees.

What drove you from your refuge today, with something so precious in your arms?
I'd like to help. May I keep your despair in my breast pocket?
A simple memory like bones snapping and the taste of hot tears.

The moon is headlights and white gas,
Skin tissue burned to a thin shine.
Your landscape is bloodless and suffocating.
Your man is running to his mistress.

At twelve o-four on the Chicago line.
The next stop is always better than this one.
Every half hour that sharp desire
For which I'd live all over again:

Useless wishes, helpless love, tearing at my tired heart
Catching on your hair
These little hooks.

At the end of the 20th century, Laura Brandenburg interviewed bands and wrote about rock-n-roll for various local periodicals. She was music editor for the beloved Midwest-based punk rock zine, The Squealer. She simultaneously began giving readings of her poetry around the Twin Cities. She currently co-hosts the Riot Act Reading Series with Paul D. Dickinson, and is working on an MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University. Ms. Brandenburg lives in Minneapolis.