Friday, June 10, 2016


Young country young industry
wheels, mobility, boom times,
offerings spilling from showroom windows
lining the street for blocks

Names speaking to power and style
and excitement and desire:
Model T Ford Dodge
Kenmore Touring Car
Cadillac LaSalle Phaeton
Packard Hudson
Pierce Arrow Buick
Hupmobile Franklin
Duesenberg Chevrolet
Oldsmobile salesmen
in straw hats

Autorow roars, empowers
movement, shrinks time,
invents commutes, builds
suburbs, accelerates
its own dispersal, spells
its own eventual doom
commuters drive away
with the names they bought,
desires fulfilled

The street quiet in its subsidence,
windows boarded, empty, pigeons
occupy the architecture as homeless
shelter in doorways tattooed
by old signs, the silence broken
only by the rolling of empty bottles

Industry birthday, bits and data, pixels
lowing on webs of electronic screens,
ideas flowing, seeking old space
to suggest stability, windows cleaned,
debris hauled away
street reborn

Photograph: St. Louis Auto Row (Locust Street) in the 1920s.

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