Decaying decrepit city
like an old woman with a broken hip
You got pockets of beauty in those
but even those are filled with dirt
Your children are dangerous because they are bored
Your pimps ride the bus because they are broke
Your old men drive motorized wheelchairs
not because they are crippled
But because they have given up walking
Deceitful disastrous city
like a leaking gas stove in a brokedown apartment
So eager to poison us while we sleep
So delighted at the exploding future
So hateful, hissing in our fated ear
My breath is holding me, dead civic.
Who dares hold you? Who hears your weeping
when the day is over? Who watches their backs during long
cold nights, just to see your true face?
Demonic destroyed city
You took out Levy and Laughner and untold
thousands before them
Sneer blind at the attempts ATTEMPTS
Your contempt at these attempts is so apparent
So fluid So pervasive
Just look around yourself for the evidence
Hart Crane is still swimming, for sure
His sail soars, his suicide merely symbolic,
his soul searches for shore, he is replenishing
the ocean with his tears.
Albert Ayler is Heaven's marching band.
Cleveland - born to Purgatory
New York - drown in Hell
He finds his destiny in the darkness of the river
Dreaming feverishly of Cleveland's nightmare
skyline, refusing his too-soon recruitment into
legend, with his young lungs' rage --
"I am not ready for the fires! I am not ready for the clouds!
I am not ready for the long dive into past, into this world
with no Here, no Present, no Whole Sound, NO BREATH!
no breath no breath no breath
Eventually, your river, your artery, erupted into flame
In the dead of night you could hear a saxophone
gobbling oxygen greedily. drunkenly
devouring every last vestige of free air
Far, deep in the folds of abandoned factory flesh
wild dogs wield fangs
wear random animal pelts
stalk lone persons down Murder Alley
grinning, laughing without a sound
immune to Ayler's wail
Levy's hazy anger
the cavernous hollowness blowing through
and around and all over
and so spread
Days clicking away
Originally published in Flat Bike #5 by Matthew Wascovich (Slow Toe Publications).