With a Bang

—with a bang—the hairy flower wild petunia—flings its tiny seeds—sudden and far—how and why—the scientist—kneels down—clamps a metal band—on a pigeon’s leg—her initials—and i.d. number—my broken toe—x-rayed, recorded—at the Bleecker Street station—an old man—with head bowed—kneeling—on cardboard—an over crowded—shopping cart, a sign—repent—the end is near—the Indian guru whispers—the only sin—to harm oneself—to harm another—is to harm oneself—to repent too much—is to harm oneself—on the platform—the next generation—leans over a keyboard—riffs, breaks, runs—his body hunched—fingers flying—30 miles an hour—all at once—released—the seeds spin outward—the bird flutters into the air—

Born in Detroit in 1948, Barbara Henning moved to New York City with her two children in 1983. After a few interim years in Tucson and Mysore, India, she returned to New York, presently living in Brooklyn. She is a poet who also writes fiction—four novels, Just Like that (Spuyten Duyvil), Black Lace (SD), You Me and the Insects (SD), and Thirty Miles to Rosebud (BlazeVox); eight full length collections of poetry: Digigram (United Artists Books), A Day Like Today (Negative Capability), A Swift Passage (Quale), Cities & Memory (Chax), My Autobiography (United Artists), Detective Sentences (SD), Love Makes Thinking Dark (UA) and Smoking in the Twilight Bar (UA); and numerous chapbooks. She is also the editor of The Selected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins (BV) and Looking Up Harryette Mullen (Belladonna). Finally, Barb is the author of Prompt Book: Experiments for Writing Poetry and Fiction (Spuyten Duyvil). She teaches at Long Island University in Brooklyn and for writers.com.

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