Coney Island Suite

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Coney Island Suite
 
I
 
Ride bells ring stale;
            buzzers burn
in the orange head of a plastic clown.
Glass shards glow dull on the broken beach.
 
II
 
Work men in shirt sleeves
            sprawl on a vacant lot at lunch.
 A lazy arm lies over eyes;
the other across the weeds lies-
                        a thick forearm's winding vein
                        ends in the wrist of an opened hand-
knee bent to the sky.
 His buddy squats over a lunch bucket
            sucking chicken shreds from his teeth.
 Hands hung over knees, head low to shoulders.
 
III
 
 Rag weed sprays
            weave round a can, an old
            newspaper dissolves in the gutter.
  Sundrenched, candy-colored
            postcards draw the nose of a fat assed cop
 through a drugstore window,
  to a thriving Brooklyn Boardwalk
  in 19 something or other.
 
IV
 
The roller coasters' clapboards groan
            against the rail, the cars come
in wind-thrust iron
 beaded with heads and streamers
            of hair, howl and shriek. That big sound
of a roller coaster gone by to smallness
 like a box of glass falling through the cable of memory
connecting this day to those.
 Lost rooms. Looking out windows.
This woman in a red ticket booth
            reading a television schedule.
 
V
 
Old men in pale slacks
bang their walkers in time
            to a dying boardwalk's
                        rotting waves.
This was their future.
 
VI
 
Everything,
            all of it ocean
                        waves horn honks radio
rap ride whistle
            all of it stands
                        on the outside
of a mountainous black woman on a bench
 in hospital white, her eyebrows
                        down in her brow, her
whispered gospel cavern deep in high
            sighed tryings and whole groaned
                        and lonely at the core
of her enormous self, her big legs
            closed at the knees, her giant calves closing
                        in on a tiny pair of hospital pumps
touched finely together at the toes.
 
VII
 
At hearing's edge down the deep hole
            far and away to the old men benched
outside the Aquarium where the sirens
of Atlantic Avenue slash thought.
 
VIII
 
A vacant lot's garden of forgottens:
            S hooks and ass worn bucket seats,
a gear shift, a rust red I-beam,  
 transmission case;
            cable coils, plastic clown’s head red
                        and blue but grease stained.
Lovely, the rings of razor wire wrapped
round a fence with a ripped out trash bag blowing.
            Green antifroze ground,
            an oil spider
creeps from its filter
                        in smoky rainbows across
a catch of morning rain,
 seat belts, cog and chain;
                                     shit diaper, bottleneck
all the ads end up here
 
On the beach an old man
            sweeps his sand with a metal detector
lost coins, jewels and buried junk
                                    court their final suitor.
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