Search View Archive
Critics Page

Ode to Seagull

Praise the parking lot, its still, empty yard
peppered with fast food wrappers and stray
loose leaf, sections of concrete washed in
warm light. Praise this tired Escort, this
nestling lump of still-lit charcoal from last
night’s sour mash loss to the Celtics, buzzing,
buzzing. But praise, most, the gathering of gulls
above the back dump—their jelly-matted feathers
of deep fryer lard and engine oil, constant
skychatter and gossip over garbage until
nose-diving one at a time into the pile. It is
you, beautiful winged city rat, on whom I rely
on mornings such as these: new city, new job, 
one more 3rd period away from walking through
those double doors and never returning. One
more shitty lesson plan, empty copier, or
student I can not help before I start filling out
applications for law school. I recline in
the drivers seat, hot Brooklyn air gushing in from all
open windows, bathe in the racket
of your nervous breakfast clatter; let it travel
me parking lot to palm tree, car horn
to coastline, yelling teenagers to a secluded beach
in Tahiti. Perhaps you mean Good morning!
Maybe White Castle! But it matters not,
just as it does not if what I really mean to say
today is I’m scared. I’m not sure how long
I will last at this school, in this city, between
all these hard bodies and no room to hide. For
I too am here, present like this screaming clear
war-call morning. Counting down before the
metal detector line begins its slow plod into the
mouth of the building, and we all lurch forward
into this dirty business of surviving.


Adam Falkner - Times Square. Photo: Syreeta McFadden.


(L to R) Samantha Thornhill, Bob Holman, Adam Falkner, & Jon Sands - Staten Island Ferry. Photo: Jonathan Weiskopf.



Adam Falkner

Dr. Adam Falkner is a poet, educator and arts & culture strategist. He is the author of The Willies (Button Poetry, 2020) and Adoption (Winner of the 2017 Diode Editions Chapbook Award), and his work has appeared in a range of print and media spaces including on programming for HBO, NBC, NPR, in the New York Times, and elsewhere.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2015

All Issues