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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

LIFE IN THE CITY




















The last eligible Big Shot
quaffs his drink
and strolls from the piano bar
into the incandescent night.

Large folks
who are livin' large
linger at the all-you-can-eat buffet.

A brash lightweight boxer
jitterbugs with his girlfriend
who resembles Olive Oyl
and feels he is in a Popeye cartoon.

The last of the early evening joggers puffs by,
making sedentary bystanders feel like slackers.
She takes a break at the park
where young boys are laughing
and urinating in front of her.
She has lingering questions
about the human gene pool.

Not far away, burning the midnight oil in his office,
the devoted clerk dutifully cooks the books for the boss.

In a modest house in a middle-class neighborhood,
mom cooks macaroni and cheese again tonight,
cutting corners, though the family's income
is close to the median figure for the area.

 Next house over,
upstairs in her bed,
Janie dreams of her teenage lover
and draws pentagrams in her school notebook,
ignoring the history assignment for tomorrow.

The big shot, ensconced in his cozy pad,
calls his almost-ready-to-leave-him girlfriend
and makes an offer she cant refuse.
Tickets to an off-Broadway show
and a spacious hotel suite.
Though his hopes of buying her love for a lifetime are illusory, 
he is thick-skinned, and will play his hand.

Outside a convenience store
two clerks on break trade jokes.
Cigarette smoke hangs in the air
like an unanswered question.
They speculate about global warming and toxic sludge.
A customer approaches, intent on drawing himself a Slurpee.

Movie goers spill from the lobbies,
the soles of their shoes gummy with unknown substances,
the boxer and his beanpole among them.
Embellishing his record, he regales her
with tales of pugilistic prowess.

In a huge tent at the edge of town,
a "Man of God" spits stormy, incendiary words,
dogmatizing the meaning of life--
working his congregation into a frenzy
custom designed for those who would consign their minds.
Then, the laying on of hands,
with special attention awarded to teenage girls.

A gentle breeze passes
and the night settles 
into a respectful silence.

Alone in her apartment,
the jogger snacks on a rice cake.
Her biological clock is ticking,
and she feels 
that she is running
out of time.

The large folks who are livin' large
have torn themselves away
from the all-you-can-eat buffet,
driving away
in their Hummers and SUVs--
muttering about the price of gas.

The city encroaches daily
on all that grandpa held dear.
And somewhere in a ravine,
the last wolverine
dismembers the unsuspecting
plumbers helper,
while the man in the moon
looks down...
and smiles.








31 comments:

  1. This is so well done that I feel I'm wandering the streets with you. Nice one.

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  2. Your writing is always great, Timoteo!

    I think you need to write a book, if you haven't done so already. It's definitely IN you.

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  3. you paint quite a city life picture with lots of things going in...it has the feeling of one of those comics with lots and lots of details
    the stanza i esp. enjoyed because of the double meaning was
    ..Alone in her apartment,
    the jogger snacks on a rice cake.
    Her biological clock is ticking,
    and she feels that she
    is running
    out of time...

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  4. I felt there with you Tim! i am city wanderer myself..i had one poem once called "my city" ah, it just absorbs you and you are still watching..:) great poem and amazing imagery as always you take my breath away my friend..:)

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  5. I always love your poetry. I'm with Eric. you need to publish a book. This piece just resonated with the hum of the city, your words shining like a spotlight picking out all the little vignettes playing out all over town. Just marvelous.

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  6. Many slices of life combine in your cityscape. So clear the images emerging through your lines.

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  7. Cigarette smoke hangs in the air
    like an unanswered question - this line stuck out until I reached the last verse. Brilliant...love yhe way you pulled people from the city and let us take a good peep inside their lives.

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  8. another stunning poem. Great imaginary!!
    I'm with the others, you should write a book!

    Thanks for stopping by my place :)

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  9. I love this, the way it just sprawls out like smoke over the city

    just wonderful

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  10. Fantastic writing. I loved looking at all the different lives, especially enjoyed the jogger whose time is running out........could feel the mystique of the city and its denizens. I also liked the last look at a wolverine, as contrast to the cityscape.........great poem.

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  11. Each of these vignettes shows up your eye for details; all cohere to make a very cool story. The concluding lines are just right.

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  12. My, what a picture of city life--so complex. Makes me glad I live in the country!

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  13. Dear Timoteo
    You have captured the city well and I liked the one about the Jogger running out of time.. its beautiful... thanks for sharing...

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

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  14. That means observing!
    Observing from the moon or the sky... I love all the situations... which daily happen in a city life...

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  15. Its not a smile...beautiful writing, sinister...sinister

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  16. Oh! I was right there!!! You captured "Life in the City"....and you were all over the place!!

    Great One Shot! I really enjoyed the trip..and the poem.

    Good Work!

    Lady Nyo

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  17. this was excellent....loved every line of this...i could feel so much truth...the haves and have nots...the matter of factness of life...it just goes on..great write...cheers pete

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  18. BIg city life just leaves one all alone in that apartment... be thankful the family and friends around you... nice poem with ruthless truth in it

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  19. incredible journey you took us on with this one...all the textures of the city and i too smiled with the moon and silently egged on the wolverine...smiles.

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  20. Great to hear from: GLYNN, ERIC, CLAUDIA, DESERT ROSE, PATTI KEN, DUSTUS, SUZICATE, GABRIELA, RENE, SHERRY, MAUREEN, TERESA, SHASHI, DULCE, LORRAINE, LADY NYO, PETE, FAERY OF THE WILDS, BRIAN...For those who mentioned I should do a book--I'm seriously considering putting a volume or two together...If I offered them for sale online (at a ridiculously reasonable price) would anyone buy them?

    LORRAINE,
    You know me...sometimes sinister...sometimes the minister! I could be the sinister minister if that would strike your fancy ;)

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  21. Nice semi-rambly slice o' life work.

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  22. that was quite the slice of life. I like the images that you spin, but suspect you need to add some more upbeat people into your life as your city is filled with some pretty sad souls.

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  23. you do me honour with your sinister minister ;)

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  24. Thanks for that vote of confidence, PATTIKEN. That's funny, KKRIGE. But I don't hang out with most of these types! Thanks for visiting, STEVE.

    LORRAINE,
    I"ll play sinister minister if you'll play nurse;)

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  25. Your imagery is fantastic, your feel of the city right on... nice poetry.

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  26. Always so upbeat, Tim. That's why I love you.

    But I wonder what the big shot's wife is doing while he's wooing his girlfriend...

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  27. __This 'unsuspecting' grandpa understands, but is aware; we, collectively, ignor the fraud we see.
    _m

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  28. REFLECTIONS,
    Thanks for the visit--nice to see you!

    KOBICO,
    Love back to you! Yeah, every big shot has a wife who is somewhere else while he's running loose...she's involved in her social activities and sitting on the boards of several organizations, and occasionally calling the nanny on the cell to check on the kids.

    DOUG,
    And there's more where that came from...but that would be a longer poem! :)

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  29. Utterly amazing...like a Far Side cartoon...something we have thought, or stepped in, at least once in our life...

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  30. I'll buy your book, Timoteo, but I want it autographed of course!

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