Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Riffing on familiar themes.

napowrimos 2 & 3:

Election Night Blues

when the whole county switched to mail-in
while I was switching addresses every six months
I was rendered someone who, by default
could not complete his civic duty and therefore,
practical wisdom says, can't complain.

like a studio gangsta dialing 911 during a break-in
or a non-praying Christian who feels
"so disconnected from God lately," I can say whatever
the hell I want,
for all the difference it makes.

the news feeds are incrementally creeping percentages.
the social feeds are lined with friends' increasingly
anxious screen-refreshers, the occasional gloat.
longtime friends who disagree trying to out-civil each other.

I will find out soon enough just how bad it is and for whom.
Recall the Goldman quote I don't entirely agree with
but can't help, after the shrug and the sigh-- a smirk.
The hard work will be here either way. Cynicism rolls back in.
This afternoon I watched an episode of Venture Bros
and thought about how some things,

you know
don't change.


Where It Really Feels Like a City

Dragged past the gum-stains and the huge billboards
for made-up neighborhoods, alleys full of needles and cats
and quick high-fives, you can look up on either
side and see curtained windows, the posterchild for
changing demographics and lots and lots of people
quickly sliding down stairwells to restaurants and
offices and back again.

You have to see these things time and again
in case everything starts seeming too cute.
In case you forget that crime still happens
on blocks with dog parks.

There won't be a reckoning, there won't be
a toppling, you'll never get your art-space back,
those seedy, beer-bearded merchants
you iconify in the black-and-white photobooks
of Old Seattle, they have found new haunts
and you're not invited. The great glass
sheen of downtown on one side,
the postcard view on the other, duck
in for sushi at a well-groomed restaurant,
stop for pizza where everyone eats loudly,
constantly darting their heads back
every time the door opens.

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