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Memorial Day - New York

by Zettel 

Posted: 01 June 2006
Word Count: 300
Summary: The alliteration here just sort of happened. The poem just came out that way.

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Couple of facts to put this into perspective. The 'roar' is the sound of millions of machines - aircon, generators, traffic, etc etc that never cease. The sound is like being in an airliner. 'Broadway' follows the route of an old Indian trail. It runs the length of Manhatten and is pretty much the only diagonal road. The Dutch bought 'Manhatten' for a tiny sum. The Indians thought they had only sold the right to use the land not to 'own' it - a concept foreign to them.

Memorial Day - New York

New York roars
no systolic pause
of nature’s rhythm
In this forest
elegant giants
feed greedily
every second
of every minute
of every day
on power
Manhatten marches
to a bright oblivion
of blinding light

Man made mammoths
have overpowered
their minders.
Machine slaves
have mastered mammon
bloodless breathless
implacable faces with
myriad sightless eyes
that deny access
to all but those
who pay the price
to own their share
in America’s power

This matrix island
straight up and down
and straight across
conforming lines
serried stripes
An angled arrow
of an ancient shame
a silenced spirit
cuts in non-conformity
through the heart
of capitalist conceit
Broad Way of stolen dreams
Purchased with beads

Crane-necked pilgrims
ride the crashing waves
of importuning sound
glittering stars comprise
a flag of neon icons
and patriotic names
a logomanic loyalty
to Rockefeller king of oil
Bloomingdales and Saks
The insubstantial poor
with pane-pressed passion
pray not for recognition
but to be let in

They wander unseen
loss in their eyes
a cheque-book away
from ease to their pain
a suit to acquire
their share in the spoils
of wealth unrestrained
Black or white
any race every creed
no consolation
even for age
the eyes of exclusion
are burning with rage

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Comments by other Members

Mr B. at 07:11 on 06 June 2006  Report this post
I loved the way you slipped easily between issues of the past and present. Thanks for the facts - they were useful and interesting. There were many examples of wonderful language, conveying in one word or phrase, what I would have needed a line or stanza for! This resulted in an evocative piece, which feels well crafted.

Nice one!


Zettel at 13:02 on 06 June 2006  Report this post
Mr B

Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked it.


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