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August 23, 2021

City Scenes

the fan was broken and the sheets sticky; it would be a long night
didn’t get much sleep; looked at the cracks in the ceiling plaster

like I was studying some kind of churchill war room map

caught an old smoker bus going downtown at 6 am

sitting on green torn vinyl seats

stepped outside and took a shower in the humidity

still dripping wet saw the great masses moving 

some briskly and brusquely striding with arrogance

others moved like cockroaches trying to avoid the bottom of a shoe

they skittered up silver and black tombs through cracks and floor moulding

I walked the downtown streets...a hometown boy among hometown strangers 

guys trying to sell watches of dubious acquisition

construction trucks backing up beep beep beep

heard so often nobody pays attention anymore to their refrain-

they sing for no one

the yellow helmets with jackhammers 

bulging muscles sticking out of intentionally too small t shirts

pounding away/// breaking up curbs and sidewalks

where people walked eighty years ago on their way to buy war bonds

talking about FDR or the new deal

storefronts advertising 39 cent a pound sirloin steak

long gone, demolished and carried away

vaudeville theatres beg remembrance

ghosts of dancers, magicians, ventriloquists - comedians

bustling union station now dormant and dilapidated

wearing a rusty sport coat and a dead carnation

awaiting a long awaited date with the wrecking ball 

drawbridges raising their arms to the sky

as if reaching for holy salvation

big tall and wide boat passes by carrying salt for the roads

that they think they will need it in tons for the upcoming winter season

plenty of it in tears to go around