1. Boardwalk and Park Place

it being a very considered position
of the city
that of the two hotels neither was one
considered not unfashionable and so
they were stripped bare and so each was refitted
one was soon modulated as New Style
the other as Old Style
roughly corresponding as simple as it sounds
Anti-Modern and Premodernity
this was considered an efficiently-conceived position
covering all the bases


2. boundaries

if it wasn’t to quibble
why sing the praises
and carve out the nibble
with monthly raises

you pass along the table
like an ill-considered fable?


3. an alternative economy

red why red will do now
for a color of line
of merchandise

like a piece of cheese in a bell jar


4. bounders and flounders

it came upon a midnight that was clear
and we was unfinished upon this new subject
as per subject Jaspers saying ho you now

here’s a very pretty new state of affairs
when the new police no longer answer calls
of burglary knowing full well by deduction
and close inspection as per reports filed
out the wazoo
there’s nothing left in this city worth stealing
but here’s the capper
no the City Council thinks otherwise


5. Berliners

the President stood in a crowd of authoritativeness
       decrying all
that was not this and saying
let them come to Berlin so as not to see
the hardship worked on them who drop fat fruit from
off the vine and thus strike the pavement agitate
       the gravel
hit the road


6. frankfurters

why let us teach them as we preach them
how glorious a thing truly it can be
to have five boroughs and a subway system
and little ethnic neighborhoods
and not be able to drive your car OK
after all our parents came from Hellfire off the
and Furnace Illinois
and Wacky Terbacky Florida
to get away from it all and be
where a man could get a hot dog in his car
and not have to show I.D. for it
as if it mattered who he was in the Tenderloin
and if you want ersatz New York New York there’s


7. the dead city

there’s nothing left of it really
that was full of people
and though you go laboriously from one end of
       it to the other
and back each day
it simply isn’t there

what with the hostile takeovers and makeovers
and the dull sounds of industry

there you sit in the thoroughfare gassing beside
       the underage gangsters
and the phonybaloney executives
and the Nazis in their armored vehicles and staff
and the Maoists in their crowded sedans
it’s really theirs to pick at the carcass
and the young who do as they’re told
and are the basis of the new economy
not because they have any money
but because they are so easily parted from it


8. produce

the city has its own arrangements
brings in farmers off the desert
basking in the civic glee

these were all our friends our teachers
sadly sitting in the gay bars
or the book and coffeehouses staring into space
or walking this morning in the blocked-off street
to view the sadly overpriced strawberries
they have swallowed too much now to spit it out


9. razzmatazz

his parlay and patter are less than formidable
what they add up to is this
a strong parlance and a mixture of styles
out of a design book and done on the cheap

that’s the particularity of a vision
what you make out of ruins