Inner Cities of Gulls by J.P. Dancing Bear
Prospero, King of the City
Dancing Bear, J.P.
The city vibrates. The city purrs. Prospero has taken
to divining the future with Scrabble tiles.
He reclines on the bed in his penthouse; the afternoon
sun picking up speed before its inevitable crash.
The smell from the wharf wafts through the window.
On the street below, a drunk in a tailored suit argues
with a doorman about a dream of great ruined cities in the West.
People sound to Prospero like cartoon characters.
Someone honks a car horn, as if to signify the start
of a great migration north. There is a screech of brakes,
the pounding on the hood, yelling and more honking.
San Francisco is beginning to crumble into the sea.
It is because Prospero has messed the tiles up again.
At the curb comes a rumor about a rain of toads.
People on the street are strutting with a hip-hop gait
now—suggesting something great but final.
It’s Christmas Eve; there’s not another Scrabble set left
in the stores. The city’s veins are trancing with traffic.
Lights smudge as fog creeps in through the Sunset district.
The cartoon men have everything Prospero ever wanted
or thought he deserved. They’re laughing, belting out carols
as they huddle around a garbagecan fire, sharing a bottle.
A fat three-fingered hand throws in one wooden tile at a time—
someone calls out X and another ten points goes on the pyre.
Copyright © JP Dancing Bear 2010