Get Your Premium Membership

Baltimore Heat

In heat the pulse of your streets. I've heard the crack of hard political whips that pinch the air. Cores of human topography, your aging neighborhoods. Your people kick cans counting gravel like jewels, while chiselers roast dogs in the courthouse. Swine flu kills the papers. And already the sky is feverish. In your train tunnels a violinist plays pianissimo. I've seen railroad men search for him along your tracks.* But you are always the sweltering sore of the Atlantic. A rusty mouth for dark ships. A blind brick town of boarded storefronts and ***** flicks, you are buried. Brown bag your way to the last alley. The tenants throw rocks at your windows. The rain has stopped washing your sewers. *From an old legend of railroad workers on the east coast of the United States. Published Black Buzzard Press - 1982

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




Post Comments

Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.

Please Login to post a comment

Date: 12/6/2021 9:20:00 PM
Your poem, Thomas, captures the contradictory polarity of Baltimore. The art museums are superb but sometimes streets of squalor oppress. It's a remarkable city, and your complex, intriguing poem captures that + more. The piece concludes with a searing image. Congratulations! Sincerest regards, Brian
Login to Reply
Wells Avatar
Thomas Wells
Date: 12/9/2021 8:20:00 PM
Yes, I certainly felt the contradictions when I wrote the poem some 40 plus years ago. I don't think the city has changed that much. Thank you, Brian!
Date: 11/4/2020 6:13:00 PM
The imagery in this poem is very well done evoking easily pictures.
Login to Reply
Wells Avatar
Thomas Wells
Date: 11/4/2020 8:35:00 PM
Thank you! Have a great evening.
Date: 5/3/2020 12:48:00 PM
I used to live in D.C. which is only a half hour's drive away, and so I often spent a good deal of time in Baltimore - a great American city. Thanks!
Login to Reply
Date: 5/3/2020 12:41:00 PM
I loved Baltimore, & as US cities go, they also break your heart. But the art, poetry, Ethical Society downtown .... ("new" Inner Harbor) even Peabody, the Museums and JHU ... lived at 230 East University pkway for years. Of course, older cities have a certain life cycle (Add post civil rights ....) Thanks for this FAVE
Login to Reply