Tuesday, May 14, 2013

earth note 240

pittsburgh, north side

the new condos
down on federal street
don't have any institutional
memory of the days
of the apache lounge
or the slick-hair-guys
who loafed
on the steps
next to the garden theatre
     who might still be sitting there
if it weren't for the demise
of those secret phony handshakes
out of the masonic lodge
     gone forever

and just a couple more doors down
there was the window cleaning company
that i managed to work at
just out of high school
and had to learn how to get past
my fear of height
     which i did
in time
     a few years later
     carrying my electrician tools
out on the crane runways of neville island

it isn't likely
the new upward mobile urbanites
will ever hear a rowdy basketball game again
     down in west park
since the downtown bureaucrats
took all the hoops down
     and then left town
     like thieves
          but you can judge for yourself

but don't get me wrong
i like seeing a new coffeehouse
here and there
     a few more poets crawling out
     to find the sun
     maybe getting their hands dirty
     in an urban garden
planting some new trees and keeping
the chainsaw managers
(yes, the offspring of the hoop thieves)
          at bay

--- e b bortz

(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

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