Saturday, August 05, 2006

All's Not Well in the City
By Don Iannone

Abandoned hopes grow
like incurable cancers
in brownfields in the city.
Lifeless forms walk
downtown's empty streets
in search of make-believe shadows.
The clock on the square
is not only broken
but lost in time.
Factories once filled
with buzzing machines and workers
are graveyards where dog-sized rats
feed on rusted metal and scum.
Early every morning
even before you wash your face
the local newspaper pours raw acid
into the eyes of suffering citizens
who flip hamburgers for a living
and who worry late into the night
about how to live in a dying city.
Service is a thing of the past
in the remaining stores where you shop.
Nobody even cares enough to hope in a town
where good sports teams are moored to self-defeat
even before the season begins.
Political elections are nothing more
than depraved freak shows
featuring vampires and demons
sucking the last drops of life out of the city.
Everyone denies
in their own way
that we have a real problem.
It's a black spot on the city's soul
that is growing larger everyday
and only a massive exorcism can remove it.
So don't bother acting surprised
that nobody wants to live here.
That is just your way
of denying we have a real problem.


dumbdodi said...

Dear Don, once again a great piece.
I specially identified with the line 'the local newspaper pours raw acid
into the eyes of suffering citizens'. These days we need to gather courage to watch or read the news. The television full of gruesome and gory videos of war and crime and newspapers full of tacky and trashy gossip and meaning less nudity.

Don Iannone said...

Dumbdodi...thank you. So true. I added to the poem since you read it. The news is a reflection of our dark night of the soul.

Rob said...

Powerful and cathartic.

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Rob. Could be any number of cities, but it fits a few I have been thinking of in particular.

samuru999 said...

Wow! Don, that was very powerful
and full of truth!
And, it made me sad... as, it is so true!
But, an amazing poem!
Thank you for it!
I know I could never write anything like that.

Don Iannone said...

Margie...thank you. It does make us sad. I see these things everyday in my work. Sometimes we have to perform the equivalent of an exorcism on places where we work in trying to rebuild cities and their economies.

Dan said...

Thanks, Don, for your insight into both the sacred and the profane, for knowing the difference, for knowing that there is no difference, and for your skillful way of transmitting it.

Don Iannone said...

Hey Dan...thank you. So well said my spirit friend. There is no difference as you say. Blessings.

Kathleen said...

Wow... definitely raw... sinking down into the depths... Go Don!

Bring the light into the darkness of corners and hidden crevices... to show it has been there all along...

Pat Paulk said...

Could post this on the front page of most US cities. Sad, but true!!

polona said...

wow, don... an excellent, haunting piece on our brutal reality...

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Kathleen...yes, it is RAW. But aimed at getting attention to the issues.

Thanks Pat. Yes it could be any city, and yes very sad.

Thanks Polona. Haunting? Yes. A reality we need to change because so many people in cities suffer.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I really loved the lighn about the "newspaper pours raw acid into the eyes of suffering citizens"! How true!

Ghost Particle said...

it brought that nostalgic industrial revolution cities and towns feeling. Saw so much in the movies...surely it would have been a great feeling living there and realizing the passing of time. But in the end everyone looses...

Gangadhar said...

Great one,Don!!! just brilliant..I think it's one of your best....

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Gangadhar..nice of you to say that and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

GP...thank you. Nostalgia in parts. Some mourning. Some frustration that the proposed cures are worse than the problem. Some sadness.

Andrew...thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.

Imemine said...

Everyone denies
in their own way
that we have a real problem.

Don Iannone said...

Sad but true Imemine

Stacey said...

I have such a tender place in my heart for Cleveland. And I miss it. And it will always be home. But we had to leave...there were no jobs. :( I hope it sees a renaissance someday soon. It deserves that.

Don Iannone said...

Stacey...I know what you mean. It is sad. There is much less opportunity here than there used to be. As more and more people awaken here, the city will find new life.

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