May Day

by    /  March 24, 2021  / Comments Off on May Day

by Mike Schneider

Spend! Spend! Spend! Spend!
says the lady in billowing purple
& gold pajama pants & flip-flops,
shuffling east on Carson at 15th,
shrieking one word — Spend! Spend!
that has come into her out of the air
or up from the grit & glitter
of the sidewalk, her face sunken
gray, wirespring white hair, laser
blue zombie eyes. Desperately fierce
& calm at once. How does this
happen? Is someone to blame
or no one? Everyone? The truth
is I’m afraid she’d tell me & I’d listen
about UFOs & voices no one hears
but her. Afraid I’d be amazed
at how the pieces of her mind, delicately
threaded as Debussy’s Arabesque
in E, fit together with themselves
& the sizzling mostly invisible stuff
of the world, the way stadium sound
of Saturday afternoon connects me
to my grandfather who taught me
chess, how a knight on horseback
can fly over the head of any bishop.


Mike Schneider has published poems in many literary journals, including Hunger Mountain, New Ohio Review, Notre Dame Review, and Poetry. Three times nominated for the Pushcart Prize, he received the 2012 Editors Award in Poetry from The Florida Review, and won the 2016 Robert Phillips Prize (selected by Richard Foerster) from Texas Review Press, which in 2017 published his chapbook, How Many Faces Do You Have?

City of Asylum believes that All Pittsburghers are Poets. With the Poem of the Week series, we seek to increase the readership and appreciation of poetry locally by publishing poems written by residents of Allegheny County of all ages and levels of experience. In partnership with the Poetry Editors at Sampsonia Way Magazine, City of Asylum advances our mission to defend, celebrate, and build on creative freedom of expression. This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from RAD (Allegheny Regional Asset District).

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