Squares of 42nd Street – Paula Puolakka

If you want to get rich,
be ready to be stripped down,
was the mentality of the old
42nd Street
where the red lights lighted up more faces than
the stage spotlights
with golden shades.

If you wanted to be a typically greedy square
and fit the oppressive box
of the U.S. showbiz,
the old 42nd Street was a place
for you:
the map of New York and its strict zoning
didn’t give any room for the rebels to flourish.

In 1981, the victorious cheers of the prostitutes,
the beggars,
the dealers,
and the soul stealers of 42nd Street
died down as the new development project
made the city grab the hose
and wash the dirt down the drain.

Paula Puolakka is a Beat poet, writer, and MA (History of Science and Ideas.) To learn and read more: Poetry Potion and Spillwords

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