Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Luke Stromberg

Luke Stromberg
Luke StrombergRead more

received his B.A. and M.A. in English at West Chester University. While there, , he studied poetry under locally-born poets Kate Northrop and Alexander Long. He also volunteered for several years to work on staff at the West Chester Poetry Conference and served as the graduate student advisor at the Poetry Center for two years. In 2008, his poem "Black Thunder" was set to music by composer Melissa Dunphy and performed at the Kimmel Center as a part of the Network for New Music's Poetry Project. Luke lives in Upper Darby.

Audio: Luke Stromberg reads "On the Edge of Night" and "I'll Never Make It to Córdoba"

On the Edge of Night

The dogs are barking at the edge of night.

The trees are black. The sky a frosty gray.

We are no longer sure of what is right.

Our prayers can only reach a certain height.

They struggle in the air and go astray

While dogs are barking at the edge of night.

The church's spire is not a welcome sight.

The preacher's sermons have become passé.

We are no longer sure of what is right.

God's angels fold their wings and hide their light

From those who listen for their harps to play

But hear only dogs at the edge of night.

We wonder why our lives have lost their bite.

The past is gone, so broken, so far away.

We seem to have forgotten what is right.

Yet still I come back to my desk to write

My songs, though they die in the mouth of day,

Though dogs are barking at the edge of night,

I have not lost the thirst for what is right.

I'll Never Make It to Córdoba

           After Lorca


Distant and alone.

Wednesday evening, well past midnight,

My neighbor's television through the wall.

No one sleeps these days.

Though I know the way—

Across the ocean in Andalusia—

I'll never make it to Córdoba.

Streets wait to be wandered,

Conversations to be had, drinks to be served.

A guitarist tunes his instrument.

The gypsy girl passes through a curtain of beads,

her skirt wrapped around her.

On a dark red sofa, she listens

for the sound of a bell,

A voice on the intercom.

Somewhere in Córdoba.

My days are ruined by work.

My nights have too many hours.

This life does not belong to me.

I watch my shadow

Like a movie on the wall.

Outside, Death, leaning against a parking meter,

Drags on a cigarette.

I peer through the shade.

He nods, flicks the butt,

Takes a stroll, hands in his pockets.

But I know he'll be back

Before I make it to Córdoba.

An empty cup, a chip along the rim,

A radio talk-show, the volume turned down.

I rub the stubble on my cheek.

On the wall, a map of Spain—

Its edges brown with age—

A pin pushed through Córdoba,

Distant and alone.