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painting by Dennis Gergel

Robert Gibbons

The Outskirts of New Haven

The outskirts of New Haven are a world away
from Sterling Library at Yale.
We save a hundred dollars
each, opting for the slow train to NYC.
In the meantime the 24-hour Blue Star Diner sign rises up
like an oil well, advertising not only the restaurant,
but New Havenís industrial parking lots
with far too many empty spaces
at midday.

the boundary lines
between the classes arenít merely
economic. Just a passing thought of
someone who saved a hundred bucks
opting for the regional train with its familiar
clacking rails, rather than the smooth-toned Acela.

But Maoís original idea of switching peasants
from the fields & factories
into classrooms, sending
students out for real
just might work here,
sold as revisionist history,

& marketed in a new little red book
of self-help techniques
in the dorms & hallowed halls
with a call for social activism, voluntarism,
& of course, four credits
for the enterprise.

©2003 by Robert Gibbons

Robert Gibbons recently resigned his position from an academic library in Boston to pursue his writing career full time. His first full-length book, Slow Trains & Beyond: Selected Work, will be published by Samba Mountain Press, Denver, this summer.

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