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June 28, 2005


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A Married New York City High School Math Teacher

Moving To Prospect Park West (a poem)

That is no country for old men. The kids
In tow along the walks, drunks on their stoops-
Those rising generations raise their bids.
The red brownstones, ornate faade dupes,
Fish, flesh, fowl, or skin broadcast all summer long,
Diapers misbegotten, used corn, and flies,
Spread on the leaden rank air, all reflect
Moments of sanctioned sanitary neglect.

A lonely man is but a paltry thing,
A hermit in musty subsoil excavations.
So what the back room was without fabled D-ring?
Too far west and south from your relations
And film crews at the little school blocking shots
Cordoning chock-a-block the street with rope;
Therefore you strolled the concrete ways and came
To the holy city of Park Slope.

O agents cataloguing empty room
As in honeyless cells of a hive,
Quote you fees of ten percent less is doom
And tell you where you can put your five.
So pay the ten, and live near the park
And get a kitchen, bedroom, stack the books
It knows not what it is; make it nice
Steam pipe and door lintels can hold hammock hooks.

Now out of Windsor Terrace you'll breathe deep
The kind of swarming denseness you adore
Leavened with churches and trees and delis cheap
In hammered tin and tile enamelling.
To keep a drowsy tenant awake,
It's good you're under the roof, or not
No lords and ladies above, but man, you'll bake
You or a corn cake need an extra pot?

Bernard Guerrero


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