it was warm for a winters eve unusually warm but damp very damp birthing a persistent midnight mist that crawled over everything
avenging halogen angels flitted down from streetlight perches skidding through bare limb bars of broken trees roped in by sagging telephone wires
skulking seraphs joined ebullient neon auroras laughingly brake dancing, jittering away on the pock marked rims of hip hop streets
the fine drizzle descending from the black urban heavens splayed holy water over the bodies of anything that moved; and layered mounds of transparent beads on all inert things chiding those yolked to weighty burdens to seek relief of a much needed breaking point
our slouching city mired in a cycle of a prolonged historical rut beavers away to lift the lid on tomorrows tipping point in a desperate labor to stop tripping over itself...
a dinged up Sentra’s flashing spinners twisted round our dark corner nearly clipping our troop
inside the yakking low-riders scuttled along, their hidden ***** eyes cruising the stoops and cyclone alleys scoping opportunities for the next jolly hustle to feed a growing angry fix
tonight Mother Nature was running a ***** to the wall third shift, manufacturing a stationary low of gagging precip churning volumes of Vulcan smoke conjuring convective spirits from all the dim places
emanations lit the balmy January air rising from stubborn gray patches of despoiled snow and rancid ponds organic gutter water composting in distilled pools awaiting leakage through flotsam clogged sewage grids
Paterson’s litter police could close the city’s budget deficit if all infractions were properly cited and paid in this neighborhood
this queer elixir of rising vapors from evaporating snow escaping the cracks lining the bowels of mordant streets joining descending screens of billowing mists blurs boundaries of light, diffusing temporal time
people and things lose precise definition reducing sentient beings to moving silhouettes of gray photographic negatives framed in dribbling palettes of pastel hues
our 5th Ward mission planted in the hub of a neighborhood still holding on...
Old WASP’s of St. Paul’s long ago winged away from this princely Episcopate principality
the abandoned conical nest, its chambers filled with the mud of 50 dead rectors precariously clings to its shivering boulevard corner
its endowment depleted its earthly treasure rusting grandiose Tiffany windows remain the last legacy of an opulent faith now shamefully rattling away in moth eaten frames
once icons of adulatory reverence the final sparkling asset of a distressed religion begs to be monetized by flummoxed vestrymen yearning to extend a stewardship over a dissipating ESL flock
distress in the hood parades down Broadway in all directions
a few blocks east a shuttered Barnert Hospital transfigured into an urban enterprise zone for health-care privateers working overtime to extract federal corporate welfare rent subsidies dutifully fulfilling fine print obligations of Obamacare legislation
Old Mayor Barnert’s namesake synagogue once hard by City Hall is long gone its absent footprint now centered by a thriving White Castle
near Broadway’s end on the outskirts of Eastside Park Art Deco Emanuel Temple the last anchor for the city’s Judaism lies vacant awaiting a renewed purpose
fraught with irony a thriving Islamic Center stands juxtaposed across the street from the old Hebrew Temple
we wonder what will emerge from the hallowed chrysalis of decommissioned Emanuel?
rumors of a Great Falls Art Center trickle like a leaking faucet failure to secure a mortgage in the post credit bubble pop economy dams the possibly of a new centers coming to fruition
will the city’s changing demography of reverent Muslim’s genuflecting across the street take time away from prayer to patronize a venue offering decadent bourgeois jazz and risqué reviews of retro Borscht Belt vaudeville?
when Constantinople became Istanbul they converted the Christian churches into mosques
when the Inquisitioners drove the Moors from Granada they converted the Grand Mosque to the Cathedral of the Incarnation
what incarnations will this city’s twilight bring?
As Byzantine begets Constantinople begets Istanbul the links in the Silk Road spanned west to the new world of mechanized looms powered by Great Falls raceway water and a distribution and procurement chain anchored by the Morris Canal
Capitalist modernity begets our Silk City it also bespeaks its demise
in the courtyard of St. Paul’s a muffled chorus trawls the thick air
a posse of pimps done wrangling their stables of $5 ****** sing reveries to the evening haul
midnight lullabies of corner crooners lift a Capella hosannas from the dark armpit of an alley behind the Autozone
“i said you say what can make me feel this way my girl”
juiced pimps cashin in livin large on a skanks 50 cent haul
the trade in flesh of distressed human capital remains a growth industry
Music Selection: Temptations, My Girl
jbm 3/1/13 Oakland
Part 1 of extended poem Silk City PIT. PIT is an acronym for Point In Time. PIT is an annual census American cities conduct to count the homeless population. Paterson NJ is nick named The Silk City.