The Ghetto and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 28 pages of information about The Ghetto and Other Poems.

II

A uniformed front,
Paunched;
A glance like a blow,
The swing of an arm,
Verved, vigorous;
Boot-heels clanking
In metallic rhythm;
The blows of a baton,
Quick, staccato...

—­There is a rustling along the benches
As of dried leaves raked over... 
And the old man lifts a shaking palsied hand,
Tucking the displaced paper about his knees.

Colder... 
And a frost under foot,
Acid, corroding,
Eating through worn bootsoles.

Drab forms blur into greenish vapor. 
Through boughs like cross-bones,
Pale arcs flare and shiver
Like lilies in a wind.

High over Broadway
A far-flung sign
Glitters in indigo darkness
And spurts again rhythmically,
Spraying great drops
Red as a hemorrhage.

SPRING

A spring wind on the Bowery,
Blowing the fluff of night shelters
Off bedraggled garments,
And agitating the gutters, that eject little spirals of vapor
Like lewd growths.

Bare-legged children stamp in the puddles, splashing each other,
One—­with a choir-boy’s face
Twits me as I pass... 
The word, like a muddied drop,
Seems to roll over and not out of
The bowed lips,
Yet dewy red
And sweetly immature.

People sniff the air with an upward look—­
Even the mite of a girl
Who never plays... 
Her mother smiles at her
With eyes like vacant lots
Rimming vistas of mean streets
And endless washing days... 
Yet with sun on the lines
And a drying breeze.

The old candy woman
Shivers in the young wind. 
Her eyes—­littered with memories
Like ancient garrets,
Or dusty unaired rooms where someone died—­
Ask nothing of the spring.

But a pale pink dream
Trembles about this young girl’s body,
Draping it like a glowing aura.

She gloats in a mirror
Over her gaudy hat,
With its flower God never thought of...

And the dream, unrestrained,
Floats about the loins of a soldier,
Where it quivers a moment,
Warming to a crimson
Like the scarf of a toreador...

But the delicate gossamer breaks at his contact
And recoils to her in strands of shattered rose.

BOWERY AFTERNOON

Drab discoloration
Of faces, façades, pawn-shops,
Second-hand clothing,
Smoky and fly-blown glass of lunch-rooms,
Odors of rancid life...

Deadly uniformity
Of eyes and windows
Alike devoid of light... 
Holes wherein life scratches—­
Mangy life
Nosing to the gutter’s end...

Show-rooms and mimic pillars
Flaunting out of their gaudy vestibules
Bosoms and posturing thighs...

Over all the Elevated
Droning like a bloated fly.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Ghetto and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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