Friday, September 25, 2009


I stand on the edge of a river so choked with dredge and waste,

only catfish can eke an existence, bodies riddled with Nunchuck only knows how many heavy metals,

Blessed with the tea leaves of oil and cruft leeched from broken freighters and cruisers,

In the light of the towering oil refineries, burning their wastes in emulation of the ancient Pharos,

illuminating the night sky like a comfortable childhood night light,

and coughing yellow clouds water coloring the skies and with all the charm of rotten eggs,

Under city hall who must beg for scraps and dribbles from the state to maintain the meagerest of civil services

while libraries close and schools groan under the weight of neglect and abuse,

while being attacked with screw drivers, too poor even for knives and yet everyone still gets guns,

Which seem to so enjoy flirting deadly paths into the populace, delivering quick vacations to the afterlife,

weeds poking through the sidewalks, sidewalks slowly breaking up under the passage of time,

And home to many without a home, nomads walking through these ruins,

And as they pass by, berated for sloth,

why not just get a job? They say on the way to their suburban homes erected far far away,

Bridges rusting away,

Piers lying abandoned to the sea,

Power lines stretch across the buildings like black spiderwebs,

Above buildings hollowed and forgotten,

Little more than place holders for future empty lots,

Torn down into impromptu parks and parking lots,

Or into dens for the abuser and the abused,

All of it covered in grime from glorious broken industries and diesel trucks,

Else in graffiti, tagged in every corner announcing the existence of its creator, "JD RAW",

All while everyone passes on the Interstates, windows up, zoned out tuned in to their iPhones and iPods,

wondrous fumes swirl from their traffic into the hazy smog wrapping us like a warm blanket,

And filling our lungs with ever pleasant ozone,

And they fly over in their jets, screaming all hours over our heads and writing their lines in white ink across the skies,

A constant klaxon alerting the dreamless,

Always we stand in the shadow of the proud and divine silver towers of Center City, even through the ice and snow,

Sparkling they shine over the city of poverty,

In their shadows,

I stand by the river in all this, my city, and yell,

"God Bless America!"

No comments: