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Driving to the Philadelphia Poetry Festival at the Free Library

Emerging from the middle
of a donut-shaped dream, I rolled out of yesterday like there was no tomorrow, turning left
onto Crittenden

with its consonants and trees,
right onto the not necessarily bitter irony of Mt Pleasant, which goes both up and down,
like life they say

but maybe not.
There are channels all around us, most too greasy for us to do anything but slide along,
data bits constantly told

we're special and deserve
the latest information. The curves of Lincoln Drive are only the vaguest approximation
of Lincoln's changes

of mind and his face
as he masked them, those are things the past will keep under wraps for good.
So we're here

without the help
of any physical certainty other than our own edgy linkages.
But each time

they ring the bell,
with nothing but heaven to talk about, I have to say no thanks, forever,
since I pledge

my allegiance to
the dinky effervescence of what passes for here-and-now, in this case Falls Bridge,
which fails

to live up to its name
once again but does contribute its two cents toward the peaceable kingdom
I'm driving at,

if you'll accept a ride,
at least part way. I suppose Kelly would have been quicker.
Why are the poetry maps

always out of date,
unreadable, and expensive to boot? "Here be epics, here be epiphanies, here
be state

of the art oceanic
marginalities," etc. But aren't poems supposed bring the news, uninterrupted,
spitting out the ads

like a horse
would spit out the bit once it had made up its mind to speak? Not Pegasus, winged poetry
horse, horsey myth,

oily logo so easy
to drive after all these poetic centuries. Ugh, how many
bits are there

in my mouth,
now that I stop to spell them out? Momentum's only half an answer here. Where were we
and why there or anywhere

in particular? why
us? At least the Parkway is the Parkway, especially now the flags have been put away.
Wouldn't it be nice

if it stayed like that?
No flags, neither the familiar one nor the unfamiliar ones. Pretty as they might be.
That would be

better than nice.
But then what would hold places together? Well, still way too early to worry
about that one.

Here we are:
the Free Library of Philadelphia. Just free, that's all, Philadelphia,

and broke as usual.
But there's nothing in the Constitution that says the usual gets to
be boss.

In fact it says
the opposite. When every broadcaster is dressed as the same superhero that's a sign
something more

than big overdue fines
are on the way. But you can only argue with history as you pay. Ever wonder
how languages die?

It happens
in an instant. A person, anyone, that's the point, walks into a bar,
and asks for the usual.