A Day In The City

Down on the corner, where there lives a lust and greed,
Where truth is exposed and the captive super-ego freed:
The young girl with a lonely mind obediently bows her head,
And the old man puts on his mask and shamefully is fed.
The well versed veteran overlooks this scene of incestuous desire
Like a retired policeman gazes at the flames of a deathly fire.
Oh the secrets that are kept in the lascivious shadows of this town.
Capable of shaming those who knelt before Oedipus’ crown.
As the fire continues to ignite all life in its space,
It slowly loses its distinction as a luring sinful place.
The ubiquity of the gazes, street signs, sounds and sights
Sends a sudden hesitance to the instinctual fight or flight.
Down on the corner where there lives a passion and grace,
Where the lover’s song materializes into the city’s majestic face.
The young boy with confidence feels large among the city heights.
The observant old woman smiles from memories of childhood nights.
The well versed veteran overlooks this scene of cyclic life
As a soldier looks into his victims eyes and sees those of his wife.
Oh the wonder that is kept in the shadows of this town
Turns cynics into lovers, and turns a smile from a frown.
As the once tumultuous flames begin to slowly subside
The old man removes his mask and to him the girl confides.
The young boy sits on his bed alone and starts to cry,
The old woman frowns, for the life she lived has died.
A young poet gazes through a transparent coffee shop,
Pondering if a woman is a whore, a nun, or a crooked cop.
For days he sits and thoughtfully observes the workings of this town
Convinced this place of obscurity is simply living upside down.
Oh the secrets that are kept in the shadows of your mind.
They’re a boy who leaves a game of hide and seek you never find.
You look in every corner of the world that exists to you
But fail to transcend to the places you never thought were true.
So the poet leaves behind this town he’s deemed to be a waste-
Failing to find the proper line, he stubbornly departs with haste.
A message he was looking for, a sign from the lord above,
Why people do what they do, why we hate, why we love.
But finding reason in a world like ours is a fateful quest.
And the consciousness that is aware is one that is laid to rest.
So disappointment is all that’s in store for those who seek a line
To be the wisdom of the world, the missing link to define.
This town will never cease to be all that it’s meant to be-
Dichotomy’s simultaneously living without the chance to see:
A boy with pride goes home with pain that once more will mend,
An old man ceases to be determined as enemy or friend,
An old woman lives in a balance of emptiness and joy,
A young girl finds the appropriate level to exert her toy,
A policeman and a soldier will gaze on with feelings we don’t know,
And a poet, though confused, enjoys the thoughts he’s gained from the show.
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3 thoughts on “A Day In The City

  1. I don’t really know where to start or how to begin. I really just wanted to leave a comment so you know that I read it. Further deep analysis and review to come. But, in a broad, simple review, it was great. I thought it was well-structured, especially how there were “characters” that the poet kept coming back to through different progressions of realizations.

    I think though that the character of the poet, being the centerpiece of the poem, since by the end it is he who is reflecting and gleaning from this world of debauchery and covetousness, needs to be included before the half-way point. Either that, or the poem could be restructured so it is like so (and I’ll use this image to help to explain my train of thought): the poem is two halves. The first part is like a painting, and the narrative of the poem is a description of the painting. The second part then cuts back and it is a person looking upon the painting and delivering the personal reflection of what he sees. You know what I mean? Kind of like a sequence in a film where it starts in a snow globe and it is slowly panning backwards and then suddenly we are outside of the snow globe looking in, and we gain a whole new perspective with this change of venue.

    My favorite couplet:
    But finding reason in world like ours is a fateful quest,
    And the consciousness that is aware is one that is laid to rest.

    I think I might write an analytic essay of this poem just because I want to dissect it so badly. Great stuff.

  2. Like I said in my email to you, this one is my rushmore: I usually don’t like my stuff, but I love this one. I completely agree with you- the poet does need to be more centralized, because he, representative of myself, on the outside looking in, is the foundation of which the poem works around- but at the same time, he is only on the outside looking in. The substance of the poem is what is happening inside the city- the characters who complement and contrast each other in beautiful dichotomy. So the lines you said you loved is kind of an ode to Emily Dickinson. The words, the conciousness that is aware, comes from maybe my favorite poem of all time in which she writes, th conciousness that is aware of neighbors and the sun, will be the one aware of death, and that itself, alone.” The poem is basically, from my interpretation, about the fact that you cant learn true self-consciousness during your living time because you are too much investeted in yourself, and only in death can you know yourself. So that’s what I was paying tribute too basically in that line. I love the poem because it is an extension of the truth that exists in every city. I wrote it when I was at school and I saw a man who obviosuly had lived his years in trouble and melancholy, and in the way he walked you could see sorrow and an evolved hatred, but then I talked to him in an interesting situation, and there was nothing but love and compassion in everything he said. I never want to write directly about people, because I think that is abusive of human relationship, but it was definantly my inspiration.

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