Joan Ross Blaedel

Prince of Darkness

Take this burning
super taper, hold
it high, navigate
your city's broken granite
curbs, yawning storm drains,
unloved sewer grates.
At 2 a. m. you'll cross
First Avenue,
avoid man-hole covers
left askew. Step aside
hrough muck, slip
on leaf rot,
waste your past.
If demons mutter in your head:
"Light won't help", throw
this flame down, let gutter
swill extinguish its last spark.
Then, sorry Prince, you'll need
a contoured treasure map,
a handy ferry schedule.

Copyright 1996, Joan Ross Blaedel

Joan Ross Blaedel is a Seattle visual artist and writer. Her poetry has
been displayed on METRO buses and published in King County Art
Commission's Written Arts. Her visual art is reproduced in the second
issue of Switched-On Gutenberg.