Dogs 2007

POST INDUSTRIAL PEDESTRIAN
(11/23/07)


I once
walked west
across the
middle class
midtown
trying to feel
one among
the yuppish
knowing that my
property value
and salary
finally
matched
their own

but
I was rebuked
by their stares
comments
and body language
indicating
that I was still
the low rent
miscreant interloper
that I had
always
been

so instead
I turn east
where homestead affluence
diminishes quickly
as I cross
the first
major boulevard

after less
than a half mile
the houses stop
altogether
the landscape opening
to large dilapidated buildings
broken pavement
and rusting fences

decades ago
this was the edge
of the growing town
the industrial center
on the populated
perimeter

but the city
had outgrown
its own outskirts
enveloping the old
mechanical hub
new zoning laws
moving such endeavors
farther out
to the edges
of the county

no one
wished to develop
such an unseemly
neighborhood
so smaller
commercial entities
moved into the larger
former hulking
habitations
of heavy
industry

auto repair
sheet metal supply
concrete distribution
machinery warehousing
and other such
underachieving activities
moved in
to fill the void
attempting to keep
the underused superstructures
from collapsing
entirely

it reminds me
of the downtrodden
oilfield environs
of my youth
similar
chemical smells
rusting sights
and hollow
sounds

I like it

this
is my new region
of recreation
practically deserted
on the weekends
the only stares
are those of wonderment
from the few motorists
seeking a shortcut
from one center
of urban popularity
to next

"did you see that?

who would walk
out in this
toxic dump?

some loser
loner
waste case
no doubt

look away kids

there's something
wrong
with him

he belongs here"