Uptown, Pittsburgh 

On 5th Ave.
suddenly you see the blue arch
of the Birmingham Bridge
touched in places with rust

and across,
South Side houses on hills,
the big orange clock
on the far bank of the Monongahela
telling Uptown what time it is —

where was once a condemned bldg.
now cold, an empty space
and up up on the asperous brick,
mortar and patches of a plaster wall,
the remaining upstairs bathroom

a set-in soap dish,
far up

— Michael S. Begnal

Michael S. Begnal lives in Squirrel Hill.  He has published the collections Future Blues (Salmon Poetry, 2012) and Ancestor Worship (Salmon Poetry, 2007), as well as the chapbook Mercury, the Dime (Six Gallery Press, 2005).  His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, such as Notre Dame Review, Dark Sky, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The New Yinzer, and Poetry Ireland Review. He is currently an adjunct instructor of writing at Duquesne University. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM.


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