R.G. Evans

Learning To Be Astonished

When asked Where do you get your ideas?
the writer Harlan Ellison always answered
Schenectady. Ellison was a wise ass,
but it’s as good an answer as any.
Imagine the sunlight in Schenectady,
bouncing off the Savings and Loan,
prisming into rainbows on the other side of town.
The smell of fresh cut grass rising up
from the acres of Schenectadian suburbs
on a clear September morning that began
chill and ended warmed by the sun.
The music of Schenectady! Diesel highways
and jet fuel skies, breaking glass of burglaries,
the gentle rush of just-flushed toilets.
There’s a Schenectady behind every Schenectady.
It’s the work of our own wise ass, the soul,
to answer that familiar question
time and time again: Where do you get your ideas?
Schenectady. Astonishing Schenectady.

R.G. Evans’s books include Overtipping the Ferryman, The Holy Both, The Noise of Wings, and Imagine Sisyphus Happy. Poems, fiction, and nonfiction can be found at Rattle, Philadelphia Stories, and Weird Tales, among other places. Also a singer-songwriter, Evans’s debut collection of original songs, Sweet Old Life, can be found on most streaming platforms. Website: rgevanswriter.com

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Spring 2021