Per Contra Spring 2009 Light Verse Supplement
There Are No Larks on Broadway
There are no larks on Broadway
singing love songs to the mews,
as every backstreet pigeon knows
that Reuters rifts the news.
The province once of winos
swigging rot-gut by the fifth
now pays to Disney tribute and
to Providence, His myth.
The buskers who would serenade
its sidewalks for a dime
have paved the way for hucksters
hawking ads that almost rhyme.
Pornographers, whose ‘pliant art’
drew clients from the ‘burbs,
have left Times Square to cater to
a far less violent urge –
where money is the music
and receipts are all the rage,
“the play is (not) the thing”
that sage accountants like to stage.
Instead, we have a Square – no square –
and clocks that pimp the time;
like Vegas, we’re a monument
to Mammon’s crimpy crime.
Clouds have passions, just like us –
drifting off to board a bus,
each of us anonymous –
clouds have passions, just like us.
Clouds will let their passions rain
even on a Spanish plain.
Where’s the fun if we abstain?
Rousingly with John Coltrane.
Clouds may let their passions ride
even into “nimbicide.”
Bottled up and kept inside,
ours feel like formaldehyde.
Clouds have passions, just like us:
some of them eponymous,
and yet not synonymous
Clouds have passions, just like us.
Russell Bittner has published his poetry and prose in many journals. Both his fiction and poetry have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared in, among others, The Lyric, Thieves Jargon, Per Contra, The International Journal of Erotica, Next Stop Hollywood: Short Stories Bound for the Screen (St. Martins, 2007). He is presently at work on two additional novels, Gigolo, Gigolina and My Cradle, My Crucible, as well as on a collection of short stories, The Dead Don’t Bitch.
© 2005-2009 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas