Featured: Northwest Passage

Todd Mercer
Listen to the poem:

Ingenue on foot for miles
northwest from the Logan Square station,
the weather couldn’t be better. She diagnoses
neighborhoods, their themes and aims,
quirks, and social cures. Steadily outward,
past Milwaukee Avenue & California,
‘til her power plant’s expended.
Then food vapors take her into a café
that lacks that fourth front wall. Small
but charming, open. It’s a mundane morning
or it’s a bounty of incoming details, this city;
the day is a stair-step toward a greater breakthrough
a synthesized everything theory, grounded
in the ranks of brick-built brownstones. Ingenue
stretches long strides through the place
where she was born. Along the streets,
but also in the bubble which has always
been around her. Seven miles or more
from the Loop, packed with
mental notes for later, satisfied and finally
in search of an inbound train.
TODD MERCER won the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts Flash Fiction Award for 2015. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance appeared at Right Hand Pointing. Mercer’s recent poetry and fiction appear in: Bartleby Snopes, Cheap Pop, Dunes Review, Eunoia Review, Gravel, Kentucky Review, The Lake, Literary Orphans, Main Street Rag Anthologies and Misty Mountain Review. Mercer is Poetry Editor at The Legendary.