Michael Pelczar


A little tug boat tug-tugs on the waves of a marsh,

a body of brackish water

where the city leaves its waste.

The King of Chu (and a kangaroo)

keep watch there,

beside the skeleton of a moribund traincar.

Here is a place that man cannot touch.

The waves will wipe his footprints clean,

and rub his jagged bottle edges smooth.

Just beyond the El, this windswept graveland sits.

A crystal ball,

which frames sunset in a paper bird’s beak.

Michael Pelczar wrote this poem as an “Introduction to Creative Writing” class assignment, in which I had students watch a short Chris Marker film, Junkopia. and write abstractly about what they saw or were motivated to write. -- Dr. Stephen Paul Miller