Subterranean Blues

by Gavin Kayner

Deep in the bowels of the underground
In the witching hour
Awaiting trains to take us safely home
She rises from her stupor
Sensing prey

And stalks us

We seek shelter in denial
But her early warning shoes
Slap against the cold floor
Like gunshots

As she closes in
Cursing our complicity
Her putrid odor
Savaging our senses
We cower bravely
Against such raw assault
But she knows fear
When she sees it and
Quickens the chase

She spins furiously
Amidst us brittle chalk people
Pinballing against our
Eggshell exteriors

A whirling dervish
A fierce black specter
Homeless
And hopeless
And beaten to madness
By the remorseless whip
Of poverty

Free at last

Still, it’s a calculated insanity
That drives this feverish dance
All spastic elbows and knees
Stabbing violently at our
Soft suburban underbellies

Flashing past
I see her eyes
Her electric eyes
Searing flesh and sensibilities

‘You bastards,’ they blaze,
‘You white bastards!
This is the city and you
Don’t live here anymore!’


Gavin Kayner’s poems, prose and plays have won numerous awards and been published and produced to generous critical commentary. Most recently, Serendipity Productions put up his play Identity Crisis at Scoundrel and Scamp Theater. The show merited positive reviews (Taming of the Review and Let the Show Being) and even more enthusiastic audience responses; standing ovations and effusive remarks such as – ‘I enjoyed the play so much, that I didn’t even realize it lasted 90+ minutes!’ Q. Peterson. And so forth.