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“The Lamp & the Rider,” A Poem by Bruce Craven

In Arts & Letters, Creative Writing, Poetry on May 27, 2020 at 6:45 am

Bruce Craven is a member of the Columbia Business School Executive Education faculty in New York City. In addition to directing and teaching in a variety of executive programs, he teaches graduate business students his popular elective Leadership Through Fiction.  His book Win or Die: Leadership Secrets from Game of Thrones, was published in March 2019 by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.  The book is currently being translated into Russian and Turkish. He wrote the novel Fast Sofa (1993) which was published in Japanese and German. He also co-wrote the script for the film adaptation, starring Jennifer Tilly, Jake Busey and Crispin Glover. His collection of poetry, Buena Suerte in Red Glitter will be published in 2019 by Red Dirt Press. He lives with his wife and two sons in the Coachella Valley in California.


The Lamp & the Rider

Out my window is San Jacinto, the snow
sharp, peaked, crisp-white at pandemic
lockdown, Day One. Five weeks later: the peak glows,
pale white, at dawn, past my curtains. Anthemic
sirens insist someone has another crisis:
fire, crash, crime…our other tunes of bad news.
My wife said only 26 in our town, so far, have the virus.
This COVID concept album won’t stop the blues
of yellow desert birds in Coachella. They fly,
sing: “Eat, live, Saturday!” Tuesday, my sons camped
in our backyard tent — just boys. Me on the lawn under the sky,
old, but happy & know I’m lucky with Sherelle. The lamp
I lift as people die? Teach, write, help young heroes fight failure.
But who is the rider that cries like a baby, screams like a panther?


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