The Street Sweepers

The Street Sweepers

A Poem by Pete
"

City life is millions of people being lonesome together. - Thoreau

"
Street Sweeper - History of Street Cleaning

clothed in nothing but worn faith and subsidized, high-top sneakers
striding down the street in a sobering forced march of madness
scanning doorways and alleys for the last relics of sanity
any remnant of reason in a place caught up in a pandemic of peculiarity and piss
a city of opioid orbits, political pleurisy and pellagra
stepping over the golden calves of losing lottery tickets, used condoms, needles, half-empty beer cans and nip bottles
lonely amazon packages sit in lonely entranceways

i pass by politicians, preachers, soup kitchen philosophers, alcoholics, addicts, liars, thieves, drug dealers, pimps and w****s
some of them in pricey sneakers and driving expensive used cars
most of them poor as dirt and not knowing where their next meal is coming from
others honest, old and wrinkled
bent over walkers with wheels like rolling thunder
hiding behind cell phones, feigning to be in touch
i look at their faces and deeply into their eyes
i see myself
i'm all of these people
my sins
my peek-a-boo hope
my desperation and doubts
my lonely, isolated shouts
all of their dusty, jaundiced stories sitting at home on my own yellowed bookshelf
next to the thousand-inch, flat-screen tv

the devil takes many forms
anyone he chooses to be
including me
i see crooked, overworked bookkeepers
passed out sleepers
and grim reapers
through glassy, bloodshot peepers
dirty old men with throbbing, viagratic members
in the burnt bucket of hell's smoldering embers

where went the passionate weepers
angels with wings, brooms and gatekeepers
pagers and beepers
skyscraping, gravity-defying ledge leapers

what happened to the street sweepers



© 2021 Pete


Author's Note

Pete
"Deliver me from a city built on the site of a more ancient city, whose materials are ruins, whose gardens cemeteries." - Thoreau

My Review

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Featured Review

You paint this dystopian world well my friend. Mostly because it is what we are actually living unlike any movie could adequately describe. Anytime now when I step out into public I see ever image you described in this poem exactly how you have painted it in words. It's a horror s**t show out there. Families living out of their cars, homeless people wandering aimlessly lost with far away eyes, thieves in their over priced sneakers hustling the less fortunate for every penny the got on street corners. And I'm in constant fear I'm one footstep away from joining them all in this zombie apocalypse. I see large homeless encampments that were not there before this pandemic hit spreading throughout this small city. And every day now sounds of police sirens fill the air at any given hour 24 hrs. All this because of apathy toward one another and indifference toward the lives of other who are not us. Greed destroys us from within and we just accept it. All while greedy politicians we elect become millionaires off our tax dollars and live as if they are above the law, because they are now. They shovel America's wealth to large corporations and do their bidding while casting blame on all of us for our own unfortunate circumstances. Your art in words paints the reality we are living in horrorfying clarity my friend.

Posted 3 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

2 Days Ago

hmm. if you're seeing it too then it isn't just me. a sad state of affairs. i guess if amazon is.. read more



Reviews

This is gritty & raw on steroids. Your rich & rabid depiction of "city life" makes me wonder what would the wilderness equivalent be? I might have to try to write that . . . the renegades & hoarders that avoid the restrictions of city madness in favor of a similar-but-different insanity. Junk is junk (((HUGS)))

Posted 2 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

2 Days Ago

lol. the sweeper actually wakes me up every weekday morning at 4. if not for it, i don't think it .. read more
barleygirl

2 Days Ago

Very good point!
Jesus, Pete, and the work began so well.

There's a point when reading where it feels as though you stopped writing, took a breath to decide how to complete the poem, and than promptly switched trains of thought.

Right about at:

"the devil takes many forms
anyone he chooses to be
including me..."

You go from the external (which, btw, was written both with an incredibly strong conviction and very precise detail) and than switch, suddenly, to how that reflects upon you as the observer.

'I see the world'

'This is where I fit'

If it were me, I'd want to be encouraged to sit on the idea somewhat, ruminate for a while, and then revisit that point where the poem changes shape.

The devil takes many forms.

So what?

Where does that leave hell?

What does that say about hell?

About the Devil? People?

About why it all is, the way that it all is?

If I had to suggest anything (and you're welcome to feel as though I shouldn't) I'd say that by asking those big questions, you can sometimes find the smaller answers that can really complete an idea.

That's just what I'd want to hear, and what came to mind when I read - I hope you don't take a critical air personally (I'm quite fond of your thinking) and I was otherwise really engaged, albeit, right up until that halfway point.

Best of luck w/this one.

-Ook

P.S. I might be out of line with this comment, but I felt somewhat compelled.

Just a suggestion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzElSvvKQWI&t=202s&ab_channel=ThoughtsonThinking




Posted 3 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

2 Days Ago

i don't disagree with you, i knew it when i wrote it. at the exact place you mention i veered and t.. read more
This one's one to remember. It stung. It can be felt as much as any Charles Bukowski work. Maybe 50 years from now, people will look back on this and say it was a masterpiece that showed its time well. Quite underrated, I think this deserves many, many reviews. I won't go into detail on the piece, but it's going in my favourites. It reminds me of another poem, "My Father" By Yehuda Amichai, but instead of war, illness, and instead of gathering the dead in your eyes, you gather the living.

Posted 3 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

2 Days Ago

thanks rj. i will have to check out that poem ... :)
You paint this dystopian world well my friend. Mostly because it is what we are actually living unlike any movie could adequately describe. Anytime now when I step out into public I see ever image you described in this poem exactly how you have painted it in words. It's a horror s**t show out there. Families living out of their cars, homeless people wandering aimlessly lost with far away eyes, thieves in their over priced sneakers hustling the less fortunate for every penny the got on street corners. And I'm in constant fear I'm one footstep away from joining them all in this zombie apocalypse. I see large homeless encampments that were not there before this pandemic hit spreading throughout this small city. And every day now sounds of police sirens fill the air at any given hour 24 hrs. All this because of apathy toward one another and indifference toward the lives of other who are not us. Greed destroys us from within and we just accept it. All while greedy politicians we elect become millionaires off our tax dollars and live as if they are above the law, because they are now. They shovel America's wealth to large corporations and do their bidding while casting blame on all of us for our own unfortunate circumstances. Your art in words paints the reality we are living in horrorfying clarity my friend.

Posted 3 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

2 Days Ago

hmm. if you're seeing it too then it isn't just me. a sad state of affairs. i guess if amazon is.. read more

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Added on October 14, 2021
Last Updated on October 15, 2021

Author

Pete
Pete

Boston, MA



About
I love reading, writing, music, nature, God and feeling emotion, not necessarily in that order. To me, these things go hand in hand. My favorite writer is Henry David Thoreau. I think he was a geni.. more..

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