Like Moses fleeing Egypt
and finding refuge in Midian
I was a stranger in a strange land.
Having fled Chicago in ‘84
I journeyed east to the
unpromised land of Detroit.
8 Mile Road.
“I'm a man
I'm a make a new plan”
Eminem makes and takes the rap
while party stores and strip joints
pockmark the urban warscape.
“Super Lotto” “Beer and Wine”
“Liquor“ “Money Orders”
“We accept Food stamps”
“Girls, Girls, Girls”
9 Mile Road.
Driving north through Ferndale where
the Exiles of Gentrification live,
I was reminded of the sixties
and drag racing
stoplight to stoplight.
zero to sixty in three gallons
muscleheads in their muscle cars
dual quads, hemi-heads
bored and stroked, raked and shackled
four on the floor, two in the backseat
Jim Beam in the glove box
and fuzzy dice on the mirror.
Up ahead the Reuther crossed
where once a 10 Mile Road proudly served.
Named for a firebrand labor guy,
the freeway heads east out of Roseville,
veers south through Warren
then north and south again.
Torn up and re-built before it opened,
the 20 year in the making
flows west around the Zoo
with a zig through Huntington Woods
and a zag through Lathrup Village.
11 Mile Road and electric
eclectic, engaging Royal Oak;
home of the Star Dream sculpture
Farmer’s Market and all things hip—
Just ask ‘em.
11 and a half Mile Road.
Art deco portico with garish neon,
never washed windows and
a pair of 69.9 a gallon pumps,
“No Gas” “No Gas”
a Woodward fixture since prohibition,
is voted Motown’s best car repair
year after year after year.
12 Mile Road.
The National Shrine of the Little Flower,
de-flowered in the 1930’s
by radio Priest Charles Coughlin
whose coast to coast broadcasts
railed against bankers and Jews
and that communist FDR.
Like a journalist trying to find the
Who? What? Where? and why?
Like a little boy peering through a keyhole
I found myself in a Motor City funk
looking more than tasting.