Julian Randall

“I am from the backseat of a Megabus”- Julian Randall


I am from Logan Square
in Illinois     there are tornadoes
In Chicago    the city breathes too hard
we make our own disasters
If anything though
I am from the backseat of a Megabus
natural born asterisk
every claim is hesitant
if the bricks cannot remember your face
I am from somewhere
that is not my somewhere anymore

If I know anything it is this
any good survival
tries not to be anywhere twice
I can only sleep on buses
in shoes I can run away in
so I may never be from anywhere again
The low hum of nowhere
constant as I ride past
a road so green
it might convince you
the world is not dying

“Chicago” from Refuse by Julian Randall (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018). Reprinted by permission of the author.

Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. A fellow of Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Callaloo, BOAAT and the Watering Hole, Julian is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been published in New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, and POETRY and anthologized in Bettering American Poetry, Nepantla and Furious Flower. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Ole Miss. His first book, Refuse (Pitt, Fall 2018), is the winner of the 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and a finalist for the NAACP Image Award in Poetry. He talks a lot about poems on Twitter at @JulianThePoet.