#Broken city

Posted: August 1, 2013 in urban poems

Tonight we are gathering at dVerse  pub for poets and basically writing poems of Twitter-length stanzas – 140 characters! Come and join us, enjoy the company and some fine poetry.


A run-down Detroit suburb

It is a war. The city
in retreat. Slashed budgets.
Not a fatal wound yet, but
cutting deep. The bloody flow
of dollars cannot be staunched.

Neither can the loss of population.
A million Detroit people gone.
Mown-down-town. This
is the entropy of an icon.
Riches to rags in 60 years.

Self-inflicted and now staggering
from a thousand cuts. Services
gone, lights out. Creditors
staring down the black hole
of a city’s finances.

It’s a full-blown retrenching.
Of everything. Planning salvation.
Yet even in decay new life rises.
Troops march in
conquering abandoned land.

This war is in deserted neighbourhoods.
Grasses, weeds, shrubs gnaw
into concrete and houses.
Rebuilding a city that
was waiting its moment.

#corruption #decay

  1. claudia says:

    oh heck…a city can change so quickly, always depending on the economy i think – and you always have people that take advantage from the wounds – recently i read about a city in the US where they found huge amounts of oil – and that city is just exploding now – more and more people move there to find work and the city’s face is changing as well – just in the other direction – both difficult

  2. Rowan Taw says:

    I’ve seen some amazing photography on Instagram of rundown Detroit houses…your words would compliment them well.

  3. brian miller says:

    detroit def has it rough right now…watching to see what happens when a city goes bankrupt you know….have a few good friends in the city that keep me int eh loop….its not pretty…waiting for its moment…oy…wonder when that will be eh?

  4. Laurie Kolp says:

    This touches my heart… do you live there? I think from here on out, things will get better.

  5. bostonpoetry says:

    Detroit… such a strong proud city reduced to ruin. Here’s to its recreation. Great, timely, meaningful write.

  6. Paul Tobin says:

    Once again an excellent poem. I love the lines:
    Mown-down-town. This
    is the entropy of an icon.
    Riches to rags in 60 years.
    You capture the tragedy of the scene well.

  7. Dylan Hearn says:

    Really evocative of a city that for the most part has become a part of capitalism’s detritus.

  8. You had my attention the minute you used the hashtag in your title. In using the idiom of Twitter, you underlined that this was going to be something different. And different it is, with its metaphor of arms, and its theme of urban collapse and hope. Beautifully done.

  9. A great use of the prompt.. newsworthy and sad..

  10. ONe thing that I always find sort of depressing is looking at buildings without
    lights…it almost wants to make one ‘tear’ them down to make room for

    more light..

    But there is always hope for remodeling…I enjoy your words here it
    reminds me of all my decayed building friends and dreams..

    of cities past…

  11. kelvin s.m. says:

    …clever observations & good commentaries… i guess, this could be a modern version of the classic — the ruined city… loved this… smiles…

  12. So sad. But I’m glad to read some writing on this tragedy beyond hearing what the corporate news has to say. ~peaceful Friday, Jason

  13. marousia says:

    Touching and timely

  14. cloudfactor5 says:

    You really hit the proverbial rusted broken down nail right on the head !! If America wasn’t so busy trying to run the world maybe there would still be time to save more cities from Detroit’s fate!

  15. aprille says:

    From ‘Motown’ to ‘Mown-down-town’
    which led me the the term ‘portmanteau’, which I had never come across before. I knew the concept, but not what it is called.
    A great sunday morning web excursion I have you to thank for.

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