Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, January 8, 2012

“How do I get to Elm?”

by Joseph Hargraves

A thin, black-haired, blue-eyed
girl stopped me on
High and Main Streets.
She asked me “How
Do I get to Elm?” Because I say
whatever pops into my mind
I told her I once stabbed
a guy on Elm because he
called me a “faggot.”
I explained how easily
the knife entered
up under his rib-cage.
She asked: “How
do I get to Elm?
I told her I would
exchange good directions
for her phone number.
She wrote “Becky: 327-9553.”
When I got home
I dialed knowing
she gave me the number
to Luigi’s Pizza Parlor.
The phone rang and
a sweet voice said:
“Hi Joe, this is Becky
I was hoping you’d call.”

Always remember:
People are unpredictable.


  1. Who is more unpredictable, the stabbing poet, or the nice girl who gives her number? They will probably be arrested and write beautiful poems from prison. Good poem. AS

  2. people are unpredictable, so true. imagine what life would be if humans could be counted on to make logical decisions... good write

  3. I miss Joe Hargraves poems. he is needed in the poetry scene. there is none like him.

  4. Spectacular. From the dark tone in the beginning I never expected such a beautiful ending. -CW

  5. Why is she thin? Why black-haired specifically? Why are you spending two syllables of my life on her exact eye pigment? This poem is color biased and anti-fat and "Luigi's Pizza Parlor" took I'm guessing 1.8 seconds to think up.

  6. Good, Keep up the good work

  7. Clever poem, also love the comments. Hargraves is really hitting his stride lately. BTW, Recently went to Luigi's at the corner of Main & 2nd, one block east from High & Main, got two pies for $14.95. I asked for Becky and was told that she doesn't work there anymore. Ya gotta wonder....

  8. The short-cropped narrative makes for a surreal dream-like progression.
    The ending talks about itself in the third person.
    I am delighted, made clever, & oddly optimistic.
    Much enjoyed.
    Thank you.

  9. Life and art combined- cause for optimism! Go Joseph!

  10. a thin, black haired, black eyelashed, vein prominent, green eyed girl talked to me using her redder-on-top tongue and her off-white teeth

    when she did this it was 4:23 pm

    i heard her speak in my green nike shoes

  11. I too would have given my number to a guy who stabbed another dude, in my younger crazy days. You always give the right amount of details. Good work! China027

  12. Yes, perfect. It's like a pocket guide to establishing disharmony with others most economically! There is so much to love in this poem! The first line is fantastic. JO

  13. daring hero and brave heroine Go Joe