Sherri O'Malley, "Poet of Blight"

Sherri O'Malley is a creative-writing student at Houston Community College. Originally from Pasadena, Texas, O'Malley says her work deals with "celebrations of unlikely beauty" and is intended to help readers "reclaim the overlooked nobility of urban life." Her poems have appeared in the HCC literary quarterly Commute-ications, and she has performed public readings on Houston Public Access, at the Rice University coffee house, and on KPFT/90.1 FM. Morning on Blight Street is excerpted from a chapbook of O'Malley's poetry, "Oooh, That Smell," available from the author.

Morning on Blight Street

Dawn breaks freshless with coffee

On the breeze

Instant, granualized in steam

Poured forth from smokestacks atop

The neon-lit House

of Maxwell

After nightshifts afire like an urban

Texas City

Morning without end

Slack-wire mockingbirds belch sulfuric

Fumes into the chromed exhaust of idling trucks

Rumbling pavement trod

By anemic canines, rooting in gutters while

Watts upon watts of glittering Tejano waft

From the windows of squealing Firebirds

As I sit still on my sinking stoop

Sipping coffee

Instantly granualized in steam

Morning without end


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