Friday, November 07, 2008

The Last Poster

The Last Poster of the City Center

Where have all the City Center posters gone –

Those tawdry intimations of eternal spring –

Those pastel promises of greenbacks,

Flush, like three-dollar Bills on John Street,

Tanner and Stone’s latest masterpieces

Of architectural pornography?

Like birds of paradise perched on telephone wires

In a world of carcinogenic cell phones,

The posters sat in almost every window

In downtown Portsmouth, in abated businesses,

In banks that mix business with politics,

Signs of the age of promiscuous credit carding.

In FOR RENT store-fronts galore, the posters implied

They would do what a thirty-eight million dollar

Bridge To Nowhere had failed to do: bring back the past,

Bring back the bustling Saturdays on Chillicothe Street,

Bring back the crowds of shoppers and bar hoppers,

Bring back the necking in the Columbia balcony,

Bring back youth, innocence and lost hair,

Bring back the exhilaration of the 1940s,

The elixir of youth, the gartered ladies and gents,

Bring back the Breck Girl and “A Little Dab’ll do ya,”

“Tuxedo Junction,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “In the Mood”

To offset the nightmare of Dubya Dubya Dubya,

Mortgage brokers and Free Market Fundamentalists,

The machinations of the Marting Foundation –

The lies, the lies, the lies of the Progress Portsmouth Committee!

The news in the Portsmouth Daily Times,

More slanted than an Olympic ski jump,

The spirit of Portsmouth, like the Kinney Spring, polluted.

And then the citizens rose up, on November 4, 2008,

Like angry peasants, and drove a democratic stake

Through the heart of the unrenovated monster,

The leaking department store, the running sore:

“Good Things are Not Sold Here!” “In S.O.G.P. We Trust!”

Bauer, Kalb, Baughman, don’t forget Marty Mohr.

So hurry down to the Marting store

If you want to see the Last Poster of the City Center

Before that blasted building bites the dust,

Because, as Mohr said, “It ain’t worth anything.”

How much is that doggone poster in the window?