Philadelphia, a way of putting it

Lincoln parkway winds
Kelly runs through the rock
curves along the Schuylkill
its surface unzipped by punts
so many, a madness of exercise
tossing ponytails and sweating mamoths
bright frenzy of running shoes
the line below the art museum
for the statue near it but not of it
Ben Frankling parkway closed as usual
near where Joan of Arc rides golden
the not quite circulation of the car
empty spaces full of cars
people who do not stay
the lots, the grim cold parking
palatial facades, ironbarred churches
the monstrosity of city hall
the row houses from all the ages
the accumulated Philadelphia
a violin shop or a longbrickwall
a hospital, a tavern, a sailing vessel
overwarm interiors of winter
concourses of station and subway
interconnected deserted possibilities
where the windhowl is never heard
nor pigeons ever go
where dimming lightfixtures
more feebly indicate the need
for commercial renovation
tunnel ways, cathedral space
where no one lingers
hotel lobbies rustling with activity
with inelegant interior decoration
the crowded market, the throbbing heart
of Philadelphia it would seem
where once was Reading Terminal
now steam and counters and long lines
there is also the historic section
a reduction of history to tourism
because history matters
the throb of sidewalk life
musicians in the winter sun
the shoe repair shops and the binders
Chinatown and bubble tea
and hanging duck in windows
Macy’s decorated for shopping
when you listen to the organ you can stop
that lavish oversupplied interior space
well-dressed people traverse
antcrawling, trying on the boots
in the age that, doesn’t it seem to you
least needs the boots?


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