A Land of Endless November, PA

Posted: April 14, 2011 in Poetry

While the rent goes up in New York
And New Jersey and just about everywhere else
This is one of the places where the
Poor come to live
The poor and the downward sliding
Sliding downward into
A land of endless November
A land of gated communities
A land from where the sweet birds of youth
Have flown

Their families come with them
Their problems come with them
But their hearts stay at home

A lot of them have jobs hundreds of miles away
Each day is a 6 hour commute
With carcasses of torn up deer at the side of the road
Every few miles or so
And the rent is going up here too

On afternoons the locals watch Family Feud
At some bar

Desperate pointless women argue with a librarian over
3 or 4 dollars in late fines

People go to church on
Saturday nights

In our bathroom we use hot pink duct tape
To keep the tile on the wall

More duct tape goes at the base of the toilet because
That sucker leaks when you sit on it

The landlord says he’s getting right on it but it’s been
Like that since we moved in 2 years ago

This drives my wife crazy, while me—
I’m just thankful we don’t live in Haiti

I like to look out the front window at the ducks
Or the geese
In the creek across the street
(Sometimes you can see a heron
In the summer you might spot a beaver or 2
And one time I saw a turtle
As big as my head)

My wife does too
She has painted it 4 times

Landscapes like these, I think, inspired guys like Dostoevsky
Or Carson McCullers or Céline or Fante or Bukowski
Suffering landscapes, lands torn not by war but maybe
Something similar

Human landscapes with no art and dead music like rotten applesauce
So that it’s hard to
Keep your eyes open and try to remember they’re human
A suffering human landscape with a Wal-Mart
With some gas stations and barreling semi-trucks and long-distance commuters
Who work hard and earn their wage of headaches

* Originally posted on Haggarad and Halloo February 12, 2011


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