Tag Archives: Bastard City

‘Bastard City’ by Robert L. Franklin

Pale streetlights cast eerie halos over the blackened cement stained by the blood of the victimized,
the tears of the homeless, the cum volleyed by johns,
and the wine of the white-collar overseers.

Its denizens are in avoidance of the dark pathways
to nowhere consumed by the labors of existing
within decrepit, cockroach-infested walls
and under compromised, weeping gables,
all the while dwarfed by oppressive lords of human ingenuity, whose bones are fortified steel and whose skin
is tempered glass and whose eyes are
the judgmental porcelain orbs of a married old-money
beneficiary with a Cuban cigar in his left hand,
a scotch in his right, and a fifteen-dollar per hour
set of rouge lips rhythmically slurping between his legs.

He doesn’t concern himself with the serfs,
whose prosperity stands next to him
no more competitive than a struggling toddler,
vassals whose “American Dream” yields
barely more than nothing, whose skin automatically
designates them an enemy combatant
to state-funded figures of authority,
automatically retards full ascent
up every corporate ladder,
and whose world — composed primarily of black markets, institutional poverty, and senseless loss of life –-
is nothing more than a pipeline
from kindergarten to death row.

Their plights are largely ignored
by the courts gathered in greenback towers,
whose pen is mightier than the gun,
whose lapel is more revered than the flag,
and whose tongue is sharper than any blade used
to twist in freedom’s back while
darkness aids pale streetlights
casting eerie halos
on the blackened cement pathways to nowhere
that separate the lords from the peasants
in a sanctuary of brutality known as Bastard City.

Copyright 2016 by Robert L. Franklin. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.