Snapshot: Inclined

AJ Dent gives us a snapshot from the streets of Seattle, Washington, in the form of a poem and photo, every week.


When you’re walking uphill in August
on your way to a Craigslist camera

it gets you thinking about where else
you could be, I guess. Not just north

or south, back home or on another continent.
We’re talking about being penniless,

without wifi, clean pillows almost
unheard of. I’m sweating and late

to meet this stranger, hoping the ATM
kicked out enough cash for him

because I didn’t count it, just ran
out of the gas station to catch my bus

which dropped me off over a mile away
from this wealthier part of town where

people upgrade from Nikons.
The city spreads its arms to me as if

I’m leaving, not just walking slightly outside
of my usual realm, and it wants me back.

The city spreads its legs to me like
a book splitting open or a seagull

stoned on salty air taking off from a pier.
Even squinting I can’t quite see my neighborhood

but in the oil of the cars below I can smell
its hot dogs and hookers so even here

I feel at home. When I reach the condos,
my text brings the DSLR seller to his door

and we exchange handshakes, batteries,
geeky grins over concert photography.

We’re so nervous and excited he nearly
forgets the lens and I, the money
in my pocket, weeks’ worth of Ramen,

things I couldn’t afford a year ago
and, honestly, still can’t, but now

is when I must live and capture life,
walk back down the bridge staring

at every single vehicle navigating into
or out of this veiny heart. I blow past

the bus stop with this new creature
breathing hard in my hands, its eye

snapping every step from hilltop
to highway. I hope it doesn’t consider me

a downgrade.


AJ Dent is a Seattle-based blogger and photographer. She currently writes copy for GeekGirlCon. For more from AJ, see our website.

October 3, 2013

Release TBC – the ‘fun and games’ issue.

Including: a vision of a nuclear explosion during London’s Olympics; interviews with artist Joshua Seidner, games maker James Wallis, and the anonymous author of Chameleon on a Kaleidoscope.

Plus: poetry from Will Nicoll, and prints from Rap Coloring Book.

Like to contribute?

If you'd like to contribute you can:

  • Send us something to publish online. We aim to publish daily.
  • Suggest an idea. We'll help you make it a piece we can publish.
  • Respond to a 'call for submissions' for our magazine. We print once or twice a year.
  • Reply to one of our existing pieces - in print or online. We love feedback, so send us some and we’ll publish it.
For all of the above, Banner considers any topic in any medium. That includes reviews, videos, fiction, features, poetry, audio, interviews - you name it.

Submissions for issue #3 are closed. Details for #4 will be announced on this page, as and when.

To contact us about any of the above: bannermag [at] gmail.com