Home » Poetry » URBAN FORTRESSES II (more sonnets on gentrification)

URBAN FORTRESSES II (more sonnets on gentrification)

THIS HIPSTER COFFEE HOUSE WAS ONCE A HOME.

The truth is that somebody used to live here.

This hipster coffee house was once a home.

The espresso bar sits where dad drank beer.

Black coffee’s now soy lattes with no foam.

That Starbucks used to be a laundromat,

And that real-estate office was a bar.

That Air B & Bs used to be three flats.

Boston’s Beef levelled for a lot for cars.

Artists’ lofts reuse long-closed factories,

And suburbanites claim urban zip codes.

While caged birds sing in penitentiaries,

Family homes are bought for taxes owed.

Gentrifiers re-imagine places

In their own image- but they’re not racist.

HOUSING CHOICE IS NOT A CHOICE

Middle class supplanted working class

Residents and their impoverished ilk.

Planned obsolescence of the “ghetto pass”

Is like a blunt object wrapped up in silk:

You see it coming, but it’s so pretty,

You’re mesmerized… until that fatal thump!

That’s the “circle of life” in the city:

Up-and-coming neighborhoods rise from slums.

Mixed-income neighborhoods… act as “buffers.”

The “golden rule” is often mis-stated.

The point is not “doing unto others”

As much as how one’s credit is rated.

For poor folk, “housing choice” is not a choice

Because power only hears money’s voice.

UNTITLED


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