View from the terrace of the family's Brooklyn Heights apartment

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Unreal City

In a formidable poem
with snippits in six languages
and footnotes in antique Greek
the banker Tom
called snooty imperial London 
an Unreal City
despite its veddy real
monument to Wren, Piccadilly
Soho, Fleet Street
and the proud pigeons 
strutting about Trafalgar Square

Miami Beach, however, is obviously
the epitome of urban unreality
a stupendous movie set 
clapped together in twenty minutes
at the cost of a zillion dollars,
Miami Beach has neither
manners, history, nor public toilets
all of which indicate
the extent of its unreality

Still, the airy nothing 
of Miami Beach is more fit for idle celebration
than any mausoleum or nymph
on the banks of the Thames
Miami Beach, furthermore
has the grace not to take itself seriously
is content to be
a Coney Island in crystal
with hotels shaped like
rocket ships, starfish
and hot fudge sundaes

And anyone
in baggy jeans or fitted suit 
with plastic or sufficient cash
is welcome 
to enjoy thoroughly
sans connections, honorifics, or plummy accent
all of this imaginary
tongue-in-cheek splendor.

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