Daily Archives: April 4, 2019

White Smoke

the pale-faced
standing around

crush and grind
brown art then

roll it up and
burn it down

they’re high on 

they don’t see it
that way

at most they’ll claim
it’s about admiration

any appropriation
an innocent mistake

but make no bones
about it — certainly

not the bones
they flicked aside

before they lit up — 
they know exactly 

what they have done
high on stolen lives

they create
what they call

a vibrant multicultural

that from this angle
just looks more like

more of the usual
white smoke

Gardner Street

Gardner Street,
where the cobblestones
no longer hide under
asphalt, axle-breaker
road, commonly used
when cutting from Main South
to the faster route to downtown, 
the one not as direct but with 
fewer obstacles once you get past
the hard historic rumble
of Gardner Street. Then again,

even though driving down Main Street
offers a straight shot there,
it’s never been easy to get to
our shiny downtown
from Main South, even before
the rebuild, the driving out
of the old tenants, the tear down
of the old church, the ripping
of old fabric in favor of something
artisanal and pure and much more
wholesomely rough; if they haven’t
paved a condo courtyard down there 
with vintage cobblestones yet,
they will. 

Back on Gardner Street, right near
the new Boys and Girls Club

(located off of what they used to call
Kilby Street until someone decided

that name reminded too many
of those who ran the corners there;

GPS still calls it Kilby Street
though all the signs are down and trashed)

drivers not already
in the know
keep slamming into that open pit of cobblestones
and hard brake
or break down hard.

Townies know better

what’s under
every shiny new surface.
Know what will render
your shiny ride useless.
Know what it means
to be shined on. Know
what their streets 
used to hold. Know
real people live
on Gardner Street

and they don’t always 
just pass through.