A Fatal Vision Seen Clearly (While Listening to Stanley Funicelli's Suite for Two Guitars) in March of 1985
The roof walker
Walks in silence,
In tennis shoes and blue jeans.
Balancing on the ledge
That surrounds the top of the tenement.
Listening at once and together
To all the noises of the city
Voices of progress
That fill the air,
Redolent with the smells of generations,
Of millions of people - alive in the greasy darkness
Ten stories below his sneakered feet.
He swallows and digests together
The noise and smells,
Abortions of thoughtlessness
Cast aside with yesterday's trash.
He is balanced,
Like a sickly dancer,
Stumbling on his contributions
To the city's litter.
He fights recognition,
Suppresses his brush with dissonant reality
And regains his ten story balance.