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« "Cats" [by James Cummins] | Main | Why People Go To College [by W. Kirschberg] »

June 26, 2022


I love this poem and can’t help noting how it could be about baltimore if not for that great phrase “Hotting up”. What wonders csn be wrought with “just plain words.”

Great poem. Love it. The accompanying art work is also great🎭

Thanks, Eileen. Glad you like the post.

Love the "hotting up," too, in this fine Tom Devaney poem. All too apt right now; our country that trashcan on fire.

thomas devaney is another fave poet of mine and this poem wonderfully illustrates why...and i do mean "wonder full"...

Why move the car at all?
Fine poem, with LIVE cRaBs!

Oregon Avenue is very familiar to me. My mother’s side of the family lived in South Philadelphia, through which Oregon Avenue runs. There are two sacred spaces in a South Philly row-home: the kitchen and the front stoop. As a kid, I loved to hang out at both. Thomas Devaney knows--better yet, GETS--Oregon Avenue. How do I know? Because of his thrice iteration “we believe,” representing streetwise religious beliefs of behavior. Parking is still a gladiatorial sport in that area of Philly. Pat’s and Geno’s still duel over whose steak sandwiches are better. And small glasses of red wine made in cellars still dot the dinner table. I loved it all. Devaney concludes his vivid and remarkably tactile poem with the bedrock gospel of Philly auto culture: “Seriously, when you have a good spot, why move the car?” Another excellent observational poem by Devaney, “The Blue Stoop,” ends with comparable punch: “All the dirty kid faces that will never be clean. / Those are my faces.”


Thanks, Earle. I knew that a good Philly poem would lure you back to the comments section.

A vivid andl full-hearted expression of Thomas Devaney’s love for his place—next I want to get the book that contains this poem.

Absolutely wonderful poem that takes us into so many spaces, the interior of the cab where we meet Ro and Meg, smoking and looking for a places to smoke. Inside and outside the ballgame is on. I love The vivid life on the street, the voices , the signage on Oregon Ave, Live Crabs and fireworks! Thomas takes us there. I love the chorus “ We believe in the front stoop..” This poem people and place, over heard seen and felt.

For this reader from the Bronx, belief in the front stoop is a kind of Dutch treat that New York and Philadelphia can enjoy together.

Thanks so much. Love this poem.

Love this poem Tom - it’s another Devaney great one. I felt like I was there and no, I would never move the car!

Seriously, why? A classic from the Bard of Philadelphia. A poem so good, I had to read it a few times.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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