Magazine August 10, 2015, Issue

Poetry

ALLINGER’S

Six blocks from City Hall the old Fire-Chief’s

Headquarters has granite gargoyles smiling

Over the garage doors, perhaps the last

They ever carved in Philadelphia.

They wear stone fire-fighters’ hats and one blows

Foam from a stone mug. The sculptor saw his

Work and did it. Did Allinger’s have gargoyles?

The old poolroom could have used two or three.

The ornate building is gone, but the old

Pool shooters have second-storey memories

Of stone creatures staring down Market Street,

Protecting the green-felt-covered tables

Lighted by lamps in a chalk-dust haze

Conducive to tales of Atlantic City.

You sat in high-chairs made for men watching

Nine-ball, a game starting in a diamond

Configuration’s shattered positions,

Ending with the solid tap of cue to ball

Then a secondary click, the nine-ball

Rolling white-gold-white over the green table

Toward the pocket; and in the last sound

Of the ball draining from pocket to bin

Was summarized all the dissipation

Of despair, the exaltation of hope.

The cardinal dimension was head

Over heart. I think gargoyles were watching

Outside. The place is a parking lot now,

The Fire-Chief’s headquarters comes down next year.

Lawrence Dugan's poetry has appeared recently in Arion, National Review, The Spectator and The Threepenny Review.

In This Issue

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Poetry

ALLINGER’S Six blocks from City Hall the old Fire-Chief’s Headquarters has granite gargoyles smiling Over the garage doors, perhaps the last They ever carved in Philadelphia. They wear stone fire-fighters’ hats and one blows Foam from ...
Happy Warrior

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