Friday, February 6, 2009

The Brooklyn Ferry

Consider, you who peruse me, whether I may not in unknown ways be looking upon you;
Be firm, rail over the river, to support those who lean idly, yet haste with the hasting current.

The hurry of people is different here. No-one tuts behind me as I fumble for my metro card amongst dollar bills and business cards I should have discarded. The bus driver waits - infinitely patient - as I stumble down the bus with two dining room chairs and a dinner service in my arms. In the narrow-aisled supermarket, shoppers throng and queue as if they'd had warning that the siege of Brooklyn was about to begin, or that they knew for certain that they were clutching America's last ever pack of S'more Pop-tarts.

Stand up, tall masts of Manhatta! Stand up, beautiful hills of Brooklyn!
Throb, baffled and curious brain! throw out questions and answers!

I don't know why there are so many mad people here, shouting in subway stations, faces contorted with rage and confusion. They leer up suddenly into your face, like B-movie zombies, then shrink back into the shadows. Do they need insurance to get sectioned, or can they not afford their meds. Perhaps like Victorian hysterics, of World War One shell-shock victims, there is a modish method of madness available to dispossessed New Yorkers, and London lags behind the fashion once more.

I too lived, Brooklyn of ample hills was mine,
I too walk'd the streets of Manhattan island, and bathed in the waters around it,
I too felt the curious abrupt questions stir within me

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