More Than I Know

Not the blistered frame of the church
that sits too close to the tracks, or

its windows now mercurial in day-
light’s surrender—no, this seems

to be more than I know about living
here, even though I have lived here

longer than necessary—an ear-splitting
whistle swells—rushing past me, box-

cars rock & clatter—quick mosaic of
spray paints bleed into a blur of faces

with no easy way out. They speak
to me in a sense that’s unanswered

in the dark—those niggling thoughts
I say aloud, with my forehead pressed

against a foggy car window. I look past
them, who haven’t left their city; counting

gaps of light that blink in constant distress.

M. J. Iuppa is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program, Writer-in-Residence (1999-2015) and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College, and since 2000 to the present, a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with students K-12, in Rochester, NY, and the surrounding area. She has three full-length poetry collections, most recently Small Worlds Floating, as well as Within Reach (both from Cherry Grove Collections, 2010), Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003), and 5 chapbooks, most recent being Between Worlds (Foothills Publishing, 2013), which is a collection of lyric essays, flash fiction and prose poems. She received Writers & Books’ Big Pencil Award, honoring her lifelong contributions to Rochester’s literary community. At St. John Fisher College, she has received the Part-Time Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, May 2000, The Father Dorsey Award, 2000-2001 and 2002-2003, and a Certification of Recognition from the Monroe County Legislature, April 2003. She served as the poetry advisor for New York State Foundation for the Arts, 2007-2012. She and her husband Peter Tonery live on a small farm in Hamlin, NY, where they have been practicing organic food sustainability for the past 15 years.

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