Wednesday, March 8, 2017


(a tale of one city)
I climbed the tower, with one
hand, got to the top with the other.
Looking down, there was an old
Duryea test road, something
through the woods and made
of dirt. They used to test run
each car they made, along that
road and up to this top. A Duryea
used to be a really hot car and
having one of those was 1920's 
hip. The test road's still there, 
now with a strange, large pagoda 
at the top. I've been there; Reading
Pennsylvania. Hometown of a
lot of folks, but now the town's 
gone bust. I mean big-time bust.
Nothing but hospitals and clinics 
and government welfare crap.
Everyone along the street  -  lost
and disintended, knowing nothing
of what to do, let alone the how
to do it. Down to the bottom of the
road -  a huge old city cemetery, and
the factory and a few other things
from the motorcar days. Shillington
is another town not so far off, where
John Updike* grew up. No one says
much these days about stuff like this.
You're not allowed to blame the poor
themselves, for being jerks, or for 
wanting things, for taking handouts; 
and so it seems it all rolls along in 
a dead silence. People like zombies 
entranced. They walk around and
nod  - the flim-flam losers and the
druggie kids too, fifteen tattoos and
not a penny to their name. But cool,
so cool. 'Someday soon, I'm going
back to school.' Yeah, he doesn't 
mean community college. He 
means eleventh grade.

*John Updike  -  
The Poorhouse Fair,'
and 'Of the Farm.'

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