Wordsworth in Poughkeepsie

By MACEO J. WHITAKER 

Expostulate up! up! Route 9, Will.
Ignore the totality of immortality.
Drink up this anti-pastoral.
Hail the Just-a-Buck and Minnow Motors.
Praise the bifurcation of river + city.
Honor the grit, the skylight plywood,
The attic rats and wall roaches.
Greet the vagrant dwellers walking
Route(s) 44/55, forked, joint, forked.
View the ruined cottage; beware
The toughs in Mansion Square Park
Who’d rough you up and snatch your dough—
These kids a clique of Ixions: no xenia.
Steal knickknacks from pawn shops.
Write rent-party verse in sleet dirt.
Cheer the ex-boxer jabbing alley air
While blocking his pebbled face. Look:
Scars + pocks + snarls + rocks.
Run the steps and stage at the Bardavon.
Sidestep the gypsy pigeons on the Amtrak
Tracks. Eat from the tomato patch
In the 10×20 yard. Dance to the music:
Buckethead’s cuckoo clocks of hell,
Robert Johnson’s hellhound blues,
Phife buggin’ from a tricked-out Audi.
And in the distance, techno.
Smoke the pop og; pass the god bud.
Smell the glorious chicken. Flip
Slick condom wrappers. Watch
Tall men heave half-court shots. Then,
When spent, climb the walkway high
Above the Hudson—Pete’s river— +
Inhale the beauteous forms and bridges.
Fill lined paper with the breathings, Words-
Worth, of your bruised old heart. Let it leap.

 

Maceo J. Whitaker lived in the New York City neighborhoods of Hell’s Kitchen and Long Island City before moving upriver to the thriving arts community of Beacon, NY. He has new poems forthcoming in North American Review, Juked, PANK, The Pinch, Poetry Magazine, and The Florida Review.

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