The train is running crooked this morning
and everyone is hiding in their hats.
I find myself fishing for loonies
all along the Main.

Eyes peep out from behind closed shutters and
boarded-up hallways on the boardwalk.
They follow the bright, daytime lives
of do-gooders as they saunter past the tattered remains
of buildings stricken with bankruptcy and repo depositions
What failed freedoms lurk behind those scared, darting eyes?

The day was slow at work.
It ground on, too self-absorbed to acknowledge its lassitude.
The meter droned on, robotic and tinny in the drooping ears
of yet another bowed head.
O, how the music played on
without ever really going anywhere.

The Tin Pan alley has become a stove-pot protest
and the Mormons can’t tell whether it’s racket or rap.
The police have taken lessons from the marines
and Animal Farm is being used as mulch for the municipality.

Free newspapers guide the will of the masses while
talk show hosts battle and lay waste to people’s lives and careers.
We are all connected to the radio waves of a dozen corporations.
We are fed meat by a dog-eat-dog world that doesn’t bother to clean its teeth.
Our grandchildren will never forgive us.
And nor will theirs.

Where shall I lay my grievances to rest?
Upon the ashes of the century?
Or, upon the swan song of our species’ death knell?
Perhaps, with a whimper, I can do both.