Wednesday, February 24, 2010

poem of the day 02.24.10

Internet connection dead...will be posting poems later for
a little bit

back on my old block of hell

they have fixed this place up
it’s one of the most expensive neighborhoods
in brooklyn now

the diner where i used to eat has been remodeled
gone is the plastic marlin that used to hang
above the torn, red booths

they’ve been replaced with pictures
of the brooklyn bridge
and tables made of white formica and metal

across the street a row of boutiques
line where liquor stores and bars used to be

they’ve swept the bums of the street

now there are men in long, wool overcoats
walking along the avenue, talking on cell phones
and swinging bags from organic grocery stores

there are women with tight asses
with tight jeans tucked into their boots
eating frozen yogurt while window shopping
outside of designer dress stores

i’m wondering where the man who stole
my wife’s wallet is at tonight
as i pass a thai fusion restaurant and a mexican bistro

where are the bones of that dog we saw murdered
one president’s day weekend?

the teenagers in cornrows playing dominoes
at four in the morning?

where have the endless fights and threats gone?

where have the puerto rican slum houses gone?

a bar along this new stretch is advertising five dollar pints
as if that is some kind of deal

so much has changed here that it almost doesn’t
look the same

except for the curve of the streets
those ugly streets bending toward the distance
the sun gleaming over them like a red hell


i don’t care what they’ve done to this place
how many whole foods or trader joe’s they’ve put
in place of the off track betting joints
and rotting bodegas

you just can’t change a place in some people’s minds

this neighborhood will always be hell to me

my first new york city prison

where i suffered daily
where love almost died

i can’t shake this feeling that i’m getting
walking along here
passing all of the beautiful people buying their beautiful things

i feel cold, empty, and pitiless in this mirage

this artifice

like a dance with doom is about to rain down on me

but doom is only a wine bar with a french name

so i keep going

going where i need to

i get what i came here for and then i get the hell out
faster than any man you’ve ever seen
chasing down a roaring bus in broad daylight
on a beautiful late winter day


Unknown said...

Good one, man. I know that feeling well. I hate the plastic that has replaced the brick and mortar of my streets as well.

John Grochalski said...

thanks, man. gentrification is the plague of certain cities.