Wednesday, September 3, 2008

In A City

In A City

Anyway, you're in whatever city the city is,
the one next to a harbor or a river or both or
a lake, toxic water at any rate, and of course
a big percentage of the buildings are tall--
density is money--and prestige is squeezed
into selected leased spaces, and you stop,
take effects in via senses conditioned by
memory, reason, digital imaging, and
Pavlovian repetition, and in spite of it all,
you think, "Well, I'm glad no overt war appears
to be occurring here, and I can breathe, kind
of, and these people sure work hard, but this
isn't very good, this spectacle, this big-ass
urban production, this extraordinary
collection of hard surfaces, motors, pipelines,
wires, and compressed gases," and you yawn,
and a stranger is gratuitously but unoriginally
rude to you in a way that elicits pity for
yourself, the other person, and everyone,
including the bustlers bustling past.

Hans Ostrom

Copyright 2008 Hans Ostrom

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