Concrete Crack Sutra

Down the Boulevard of wilting eucalyptus trees and tagged up bus stops, a concrete crack breathes through crab grass lips—

Each night under the siren filled lights, the sharp points of high-heeled ladies clip-clop like hooves across that crack by the dozen

Men with shaky hands whistle and wave out windows of Cadillac’s and Coup de Ville’s, daisy duke girls with torn fishnet stockings and pina-colada perfume, give cherry smiles to strangers, and ride off into the night

It’s walked on by families wearing Sunday Jesus suits strolling to the Church of Christ

It’s walked on by grey haired couples with pruned hands embracing, hurrying to the Chicken Pot Pie Shop for dinner specials featuring canned corn, prison style pastries, chicken pies with forgotten wish-bones, sawdust mashed potatoes, smothered with geriatric-flavored gravy

It’s walked on by a young school girl from Our Lady of Peace wearing a plaid black skirt hemmed six inches above the knee, she dodges the stares of coyote eyed men, salivating like dripping faucets, barking from the Carl’s Jr. parking lot as she passes, she wishes her mother didn’t work two jobs, so she could be picked up after school like the other girls

It’s walked on by shaved leg tranny’s with gold hoop earrings, chiseled cheek bones, Granny Smith Adam’s apples, twirling pink Japanese umbrellas, strutting in the sun to Lips, where they’ll dance, sing Baccara, Streisand, and Selena to curious audiences who laugh, applaud, and leave fifteen percent tips

It’s walked on by hipsters sniffing nose candy still stuck in their beards going to drop change in Livewire’s jukebox, drink Pabst Blue Ribbon, play pool, then leave to the Lafayette Hotel to buy stiff drinks from a tweaking bar tender, skinny dip in the pool till a tired manager kicks them back to the Boulevard

This streets’ cleft chin has been spit on by pneumonia spackled lungs turned away by Mercy Hospital – too poor for Health care

Shit on by trotting pit-bulls, chains choked around their necks– raised to fight

Rolled on by city kids riding fixie’s with colored tires and carbon fiber frames flying past red lights, dipping through traffic out of sight—

Pissed on by the tattered street vulture, addicted to wandering with a broken compass—

And in rare winter storms this crack guides cigarette butts like paper rowboats to the grimy river flowing down the gutter.

It guided the river that gushed from gay Eliot, who was beaten with a bat and robbed for two dollars and a pack of Marlboro Reds

It guided the river that poured from Homeless Ronald who was beaten for no reason with a steel pipe, now spends his days on life support

And when Lil’ Mikey was shot in the back while robbing the Old Coin Shop, it channeled the river that emptied from his hourglass heart, as the cops cuffed his shaky hands, the news crews kept filming as he whispered his last words into this fractured city street’s cold ear

2 thoughts on “Concrete Crack Sutra

  1. I don’t know how I missed this one before…it’s truly a masterpiece, grim, yes, but so honest, naked and REAL. And the imagery…it put me right there…love your perceptions of it all through an old crack down a tired old street…

    • Wow, thank you so much! Yea, I kinda kept a journal of things id seen (or heard happened) on the blvd in front of my house and wrote this poem based on it. It was inspired by Ginsberg’s “Sunflower Sutra.” Im glad you enjoyed it!

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