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Philadelphia Falls

From seventeen floors up
ladybug cars trivialize themselves
with self-aggrandizing hoots
to move another quarter-inch
down Chestnut Street-
          a constipated remnant of Mr. Penn
Liberty Bell stands mute
in a sterile glass house
while the marble steps of City Hall
become stages for windblown musicians-
          those few unafraid to have a soul
Can the past be preserved
in shuffling, sooty snow prints
and hot dog stands with porn peeking
          furtively from behind the counter?
We vigilantly whitewash Independence Hall
while eroding our lives back into servitude-
So readily juxtaposing
          the relic and the reality
South Philly swells out
like a gray and white canvas by day
a Lite Brite by night,
punctuated by stadiums, airplanes, bridges-
          but never many stars.

10 Jan 06

Rated 8 (7.9) by 1 users.
Active (1):
Inactive (16): 1, 1, 4, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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(18 more poems by this author)

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great, great title. i dont know why, but i love it. it drew me in, i feel it.
i have never been to philadelphia but i could imagine every word you wrote. awesome!
opening stanza- very weel written
line 7- brilliant, that whole stanza in fact is great
line 10- "becomes"?

the structure is impecable. this reads so well. i'm sorry, i have no critique (which is rare for me) or suggestions of improvement. perfect. favourite.
 — emptyepitaph

Nice descriptions.
 — unknown

One of my favorite things about PC is when you find a gem like this.  Fantastic work, great imagery (thank God it's original).  Reads smoothly, effortlessly.  Brilliant piece.  Thanks for posting.
 — Saldebar

Great imagery. Growing up around Philly all my life, I can see every little detail. You captured it perfectly. I might change Billy, just because it seems juvenile against the rest of the poem. Your last stanza is brilliant. 10.
 — the_recluse

ha, billy penn is just a bit of a joke that my dad and I have.  I'll think about changing it.
 — jerotich

Hah! My dad does that too.
 — the_recluse

I don't know this city well enough to be jolted by recognition, but the poem stands by itself as a startlingly vivid portrayal of urban landscape. The last two lines are so sharp and poignant. Thank you for this poem [10]. (The only line which I thought could be improved is line 11).
 — borntodance

good work!
 — unknown

truly, the more I read this, the more I'm unhappy with it (i'm the author).  does anybody have any criticisms?  
 — jerotich

I'm absolutely in love with this poem. I can't think of any criticisms. The first stanza is jaw-dropping, with great use of unusual vocab. The use of the word 'punctuated' in line 23 is masterful, as is your general command of the subject matter.

Well done, I give it 10.

 — musicwords

i love this poem, a lot, i am giving it a 10 and it is going in my favorites. I live in south jersey and i am in philly all the time, my dad was born there. This poem just speaks out to me, and you put into words the feelings i think about sometimes when going into philly. Thank you for writing this. I barely ever give 10's unless it's something this good.
 — infinity

i just want to add on i love the last line a lot. It makes me think of how urbanized philly became and it's hard to believe how much history it has, and today it just is another conjested city, the last line makes me think about how everything is so artifical in the city anymore that the only light is created by the "stadiums, airplanes, bridges" and you can't even see the stars anymore.
 — infinity

maybe cut "the" from line 19?  seems friendlier to my ear that way.  my .02.  3rd and 5th stanzas were delightful, nice to read aloud.
 — inebriated

Frankly, and quite on the contrary of everyone else, I thought it was absolutely terrible.  To begin with, I found it to be very wordy and...bizarre.  The imagery is completely lost in the pit of big words that I assume are supposed to make you sound smart and appeal to others.  Thus, I presume the "define the words" button has been put to good use and in the process boosted your ego.  Poetry isn't about seeing how much imagery you can cram into it and the length of your words, but rather HOW you use the words and the imagery, no matter how simple they may be.    
 — unknown

a Lite Brite metaphor? lol wow, aren't you badass.
 — unknown

What a beautiful, image-packed poem.  Solid and interesting.
 — Isabelle5

Perhaps, unknown, you shouldn't jump to such violent conclusions about why someone has picked certain words and language use. Maybe you should consider discussing it with them, and seeing why they did it, and making helpful suggestions.

 — musicwords

The final stanza just really does it for me. Overall, parts of it are a bit wordy, but others are pretty damn close to perfect. Whatever you do, do not touch the second stanza (lines 7-11) or the last stanza (lines 20-24).
 — mixtapeboy

crap. wish i wrote this.
 — noodleman

noodles!  welcome back!
 — jerotich

with stuff like this to read, so am i. :)
 — noodleman

that made no sense.  Here, I'll fix it.  "Noodles, I'm glad you're back!"  :)
 — jerotich

Like it.
 — unknown

Thank you for your kind words and comments, everyone.  Special gratitude to musicwords for having faith in my word choices.  

I do know that there is a degree of disconnectedness in my imagery.  I guess I don't even know where to begin to break it down for an edit.
 — jerotich

Ms. J---

The last stanza is lovely. Some of the best verse I've seen from you yet. No disco pidgeons, but it's still pretty good.

Ugh. What a day in the Philly burbs. So gray. And so sad. Poetry was made for these days.

---anonymously yours---
 — unknown

I smiled at line 2 because I knew I was going to like this one, and it just kept making me smile. Great diction! I particularly love the simile & metaphor you used in the last stanza - the contrast of classical canvas and lite brite is awesome. (10) and favorites.
 — Maela

you dont see many poems written about philly. i was born and raised in north philly, and i simply love this. you probably could have expanded it to capture some more of the neighborhoods, then again, you dont want to over do it.

on a side note --- i would love to know which words were too big for that "unknown" person.
 — legion

Philly is a great city. I've lived in and around the city for most my life. You want a real city that will depress you go to youngstown ohio.
 — joshcoops

it's been a while since i've read this, i read it again and I still love it
 — infinity