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A poem from Joseph S. Pete

by Joseph S. Pete

O squat office towers in a distant suburb,
you barely scrape together a skyline at 12, 14 stories high.
You’re visible from about a mile away, but too diffuse to fill a camera frame.
But the metro area is so full, so bursting, that not all of the corporate headquarters can
    be squeezed into the laced corset of the central business district.
You’re mostly boxy, in one case cylindrical. There are few curlicues to draw the eye
    except for the crowning radio aerials. You stand primly in contrast to the hurly-burly of
Gothic, Modernist, Postmodernist and whatever-else architecture downtown. Downtown
    is all glass and bygone craftsmanship and ambition; you’re an upended cardboard
    box bobbing in a sea of surface parking.
You’re a cheap date.
You loom over La Quinta motels. You loom over Outback Steakhouses, Olive Gardens,
    Texas Roadhouses. You loom over gas stations, strip malls and outlots.
You loom over Costcos, Petcos, Diamond Supply Cos.
You loom over Home Depots, Office Depots, Baby Depots.
You lord over a wallpaper landscape that unfurls further and further and further into a
    limitless countryside that waxes more crepuscular with every commute.

Bio: Joseph S. Pete is an award-winning newspaper reporter, an Indiana University graduate and an Iraq War veteran who lives in Northwest Indiana. His literary work has appeared in Cuento Magazine, Dogzplot, Defenestration Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Postcard Shorts, and Yankee Pot Roast, among other publications. He won a "four month supply" of Pabst Blue Ribbon by placing second in the poetry category of the 2010 PBR Art Contest, but the prize was really just a check that would have covered a few cases.