Monday, December 24, 2007

carson street shuffle, pittsburgh

looks like what was once
a walnut street pre-gentrified high
when i was on second shift
most every night we dropped in
for a pitcher & chess
sometimes a joint in the little alley
off ivy street
and then
the animated talk & hand gestures
as my opponent castled
i looked away
wondering how i could just
walk away
blow this grimy town
grow my hair down to my ass
find a new way to survive
a war-weary country
& hardhats that embarrassed
even the company stooges

and if it was friday night
the sidewalks overflowed
into the streets
and every few feet
an impending draftee
would bump into you
stoned or drunk
and you’d see
the fuck-it attitude
or fear on his face
that a ride to canada
could fix

there were the broken old men
who said the kids had
no work ethic
and that the country was
going to hell
they were right about the hell
but missed
the civics lessons that were never taught
about who owns what and why
and who stole whose land

i wouldn’t say all this
if it didn’t happen
or thought it wouldn’t
happen again

--- e b bortz

(published in, Jan 26, 2011)


Larry Lawrence said...

Awesome painting of a time from the past. Many lines ring true for today's climate and today's generation gap. I will return to read some more. Visit my blog if you have a moment.

e b bortz said...