ON WALT WHITMAN’S BIRTHDAY
by Erik LaPrade
The sirens tonight sound lonely as ragtime.
Crowds wander down side
Streets or stand on corners,
Watching flashing red lights from police
Cars blocking their match down West Broadway.
Looting and riots have stopped
But the protests continue like the trash
Fires burning nonstop. This is the beginning
Of a new decade, which already sounds
Like a late, nineteenth century out-of-tune piano.
Erik La Prade lives in New York. His interviews and articles have appeared in Art In America, The Brooklyn Rail, artcritical, and others. His latest book is NEGLECTED POWERS. Last Word Press. 2017. Some of his poems currently appear in J Journal. He has a B.A. and M.A. from City College.