“Accident, Mass. Ave.” by Jill McDonough


I grew up on Mass Ave. in John Leary House,  a low-income apartment building for former homeless families run by The Catholic Worker.  I remember the street as dirty, exciting and loud… this was the 1980s, before the Boston neighborhood would become the gentrified district it is today.

So when I read Jill McDonough‘s poem “Accident, Mass. Ave.” I felt a little home street pride. Her rendition of a car collision captures exactly how I remember the street:

But she lived and drove in Boston, too, so she knew,
we both knew, that the thing to do
is get out of the car, slam the door
as hard as you fucking can and yell things like What the fuck
were you thinking? You fucking blind? What the fuck
is going on? Jesus Christ!

Jill recently received a Pushcart Prize for the poem. You can read it in its entirety here.

Isaac Fitzgerald has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and was once given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals. Formerly of The Rumpus and McSweeney’s and most recently the founding editor of BuzzFeed Books, Isaac is now the co-host of BuzzFeed News’ Twitter Morning Show, #AMtoDM. He also appears frequently on The Today Show to talk books, and is co-author of Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them and Knives & Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos (with Recipes) (winner of an IACP award), and the author of a YA novel and picture book forthcoming from Bloomsbury. He uses Twitter. More from this author →