i sense beats beaten senseless, this immenseness
holding mere echoes of former cells, wisps of smoke
of former hells and, lately, scents of latex, spandex,
nomex, romex, and tex-mex. ex-lovers and ex-pats
eating corn-chex, this immenseness not near the size
it used to be, when it just held two or three of us
reading cross-word puzzle morning news, tea leaves,
nazis killing jews, nancy into sluggo, adams into eves.
just when i think the beat can’t go on, another regains
his feet, chases protons across the sub - urban lawn,
loses jesus and brain cells, drinks cribari ‘til dawn,
fawns a dew-covered lover, sees the dark ascending.
i sense beats beaten, poison meats eaten. i repeat,
seize the dark if they’ve taken all the light, why
fight ‘em if they could be slightly right, but you can
take what they don’t use, poor excuse for cities
left behind, these towns could have some style,
maybe painters and their models, heavy drinkers,
thinkers for a while ahead of the wrecking-ball.
then they’ll build some condos for nine-to-fivers,
some parking for the barking-dog audi drivers,
some galleries to show the artists driven out,
the rout complete, waiters on buses, three-piece
realtors selling the bricks right out of the street.
i sense beats beaten senseless, defenseless against
bankers & wankers & painted women with mba’s.
i sense the dark of nights and a lonely trumpet plays,
a lonely pen scratches through light of live-long days.
- ralph murre
O.K., O.K., the poem's a rerun; having appeared on this site before, and originally in the excellent but now defunct Cliffs Soundings, but the drawing is new!