Signals Intelligence

The alley just simmers there
like the red-faced man
on the other side
who has had it up to here
            his son never returned
this is the place where I played

littered shards of shatter
and fool’s gold
glittered chrystalline promise
to obscure the threat
to tender flesh

where summer steam rises
slightly acrid after rain
to amplify July
like the static of transistor
that no-where zone
between two stations

like the rows of houses
framing this linear playground
rooftop receptors channel signals
as if intelligence
stream blue the night
in wall-to-wall living rooms

where men Laugh-In
after the evening news
beside women in placid Aqua Net
ice knocking
softly against their tumblers
round, round the enclosure

I used to watch
from my childhood
of the war


Signals intelligence was falsified by the NSA to suggest that North Vietnamese PT Boats had attacked U.S. Warships in the Gulf of Tonkin.

 Sylvia Cavanaugh

Sylvia Cavanaugh

Originally from Pennsylvania, Sylvia Cavanaugh has an M.S. in Urban Planning.  She teaches high school African and Asian cultural studies and advises break dancers and poets. She and her students are actively involved in the Sheboygan chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems have appeared in An Arial Anthology, Gyroscope Review, The Journal of Creative Geography, Midwest Review, Stoneboat Literary Journal, Verse Wisconsin, and elsewhere.  She is a contributing editor for Verse-Virtual: An Online Community Journal of Poetry.  Her chapbook Staring Through My Eyes was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016.