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Harlow Crandall is a poet and songwriter currently based out of Rochester, New York. He is a graduate from The College at Brockport and received his MFA from Queens University of North Carolina. Harlow was the primary songwriter in New City Slang who released their self-titled album in 2017 and current bass player for the Keelers who are releasing their debut Unpleasant Adventure. His poems have previously been published in Wherewithal and was a runner up for the Green Briar Review's Federico Garcia Lorca poetry prize. He is currently pursuing an English Ph.D. at Middle Tennessee State University.
black winged and blue
Harlow Crandall


listen to the sound of freight
           trains on circle street and east
main as the lake effect sets in,
then try to tell me again
           that nothing matters.
just feel the heavy r and b
           beat from an idling car
as the sun scratches through
           and the cold air hits
your lungs erupting each nerve
           and tell me there is not beauty
in this confusion or a dance 
in the aftermath.

           this is more than politics
or collecting the names 
           of missing persons
on a half-stoned sunday waiting
to find a reason to go outside.
           this isn’t another dead friend
that died fixing up his boat
           or the man killed in the hit 
and run down on monroe
this last thursday.
           i know, i watched the paramedics
pull him up, 
           twisted, 
while the cops closed off the street.

this isn’t the woman telling me
           her dvds are late 
           because she got shot five times
down on genesee street three weeks back.
           this is life and we are fated
to live through it. 

           we are the winter crows bound
to the branches looking out
           over this city.
we are shadows stuck against the sky,
           wings stretched in the air of disorder,
patient and waiting on the inevitable thaw.