Tuesday, April 20, 2010

City With a Slow Heartbeat; rough draft

Welcome Latenight Rider, the cool eyed El awaits you.

Phone numbers knife scratched in dull stainless steel
seats thin covered in cold stained carpeting seventies style
violet speckles on soft neon blue.
And directions painted in broad crack head script
From the 15th ride the broad street line north and get off at Allegheny
and welcome to the Diamond street projects.

Welcome Latenight Rider, the cool eyed El awaits you.

Heading South through West out of Erie-Torresdale
not expecting this ride's quiet ride:
just the squeal of breaks in rhythm
the breathless mechanical hum of air against metal
and the prerecorded voice that announces each station's arrival
here high above Kensington on elevated tracks,
“Next stop Somerset...York-Dauphin...Huntington...Berks...

To my left across the aisle, two men sit facing each the other,
each taking up two seats to himself,
one speaks gravel too fast for me to follow
but not for his brother no he ain't no fool,
he won't get fooled again,
he ain't no fool that won't get fooled again.

God bless this and god bless that
god bless these bitumen black-grey roofs we pass by,
solemn held heads high
vacant stares burrow through your brain
or breathful and intentful slumber of chins notched in books
burn as we ride by abandoned warehouses shit full of shattered glass.

But doc,
I can still feel a heartbeat,
don't leave this one to die on the streetside:
this city of two rivers, this city with a slow somber almost silent heartbeat.

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