"dr. pain’s downtown ramble bone" - aralee strange

"dr. pain’s downtown ramble bone" - aralee strange

you want to stroll, tourist, do
but I go rambling
because that’s what I do
down here where I live
and not afraid to

keeps your wits about you
gets your hands dirty
gets the seat of your dry cleaned pants dirty
get you out on the street when it’s too hot to sleep

no air conditioners humming down here
no lawn mowers down here
no grass
no peace & quiet

you want to scat these streets I’ll make you a map
take you through time to when the Rhine ran
and business was good and so on
strolling down memory lane until the end came
and then

no more Canal
no more the Rhine
no more good for business
a big ditch

& they filled it up & paved it over two four six lanes of high speed traffic
will draw some clean lines of distinction between them and us
Over the Rhine

them who drive in & take out & leave their trash behind for us to sweep up
them who buy cheap & hike rent & fix zip & sell to any cheap son of a high
bidder who comes down the six lane pike and why not
business is good again
Over the Rhine

and us who don’t have a dime & don’t have a clue
us who don’t give a damn & us who do
us who trust jesus & us who just drink
and why not

here’s to us
moundless grimey tribe
our speech simple minded
our history unwrit
our lives expendable

and here’s to them
who better remember the pendulum swings both ways
all our days numbered on a big clock tick tocking every
one by one

"dr. pain’s downtown ramble bone" by  aralee strange appeared online at semantikon in 2003, along with other selections from her work "dr. pain on main."   In 2009, aralee founded the open-mic poetry group Athens Word of Mouth. Tonight there will be a free poetry reading to celebrate the publication of the group's first anthology, at Cine in downtown Athens, from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm. Copies of the Anthology will be available for $15.  

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