Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Life under the bridge
with the other no (bank) account people
finding out just what a troll is,
my sloppily inked sign safely hid,
steel trusses starred with rust over my head,
the guttural sound of tires rolling soothe me
in my bed as I lay
and wonder how the other bridge livers
give gravity short shrift
by not rolling to the interstate below.

I found once a bus stop sign
that we installed where
the Red, White and Blue used to go;
none would stop
even if we waved a three dollar bill for fare
I’m assuming it was not for the money
but because the driver knew
among us trolls a shower is rare.

I once lived in house, nothing great,
not in the best of place,
yet kept in pretty good shape.
Then came the days of shrinking pay
and the (t)axes raised and blade fell
one morning a bailiff was at my door
and took it all away simply because I owned it
but could not pay the government rent.

With no address troubles began to cascade.
God knows I tried like so many others did.
I was fired I did not quit.
So here I stay lost my faith in the American way,
dreams are dead as I lay down to sleep on my concrete bed
with a single prayer humbly said:

“please Lord don’t let the vehicle exhaust gas
be too bad on this expressway underpass.

© M Durfee

I was going to title this the American way but it denotes a world wide problem. No I have not lost my house yet, but with the ongoing City of Detroit  financial troubles which far outstrip any other in the nation (except maybe the State of Illinois) at $20 billion in debt over 1/3 of my income and health care are on the block along with 20,000 other retired pensioners. Detroit is now run by a state appointed Emergency Manger who has final say outside of bankruptcy court over everything that happens in the city. No just with finances but EVERYTHING. Elected officials are jumping ship faster than rats on ratline.

No one knows any specific details about what is happening, only the vague warnings about what is to come. The governor who appointed this EM is an extreme conservative on social issues and has no qualms about extracting as much off the middle class back to pay bond holder debt. Bonds that were both foolishly sold and foolishly bought.  At near 60 yrs old I doubt we have the ability to get away from here. There is a continuing exodus out of the neighborhoods no one but a Detroiter would sell me house for the 10k I maybe could sell mine for and somehow a 30 year mortgage just doesn't seem personally practical for us. But yes in the near future it may be impossible to pay the property taxes and insurances.
*shrug* Fuck 'em.


  1. Just paid $ 2031.41 Can Dollars for my little pad to the city ... and just weaning myself off living on French Beach, BC ... omg ... hang in there ... I will if you will ... Love, cat.

  2. I have seen people living under the bridge & its not a pretty sight ~ Too bad on your government's debts & problems Mark ~ I have to pay property taxes for the next 3 months, so money will have to be carefully monitored ~ Hope you are fine ~

  3. And with all this going on everywhere, we vote for people who want to protect the interest of the millionaires!

  4. It doesn't sound like being a troll is a pleasant kind of experience.

  5. Hi Mark:

    Over the years while living in New England, I've cared for the "troll" population. It is a hard, mean life. Bad for everyone but especially bad for elders (and they are out there too) and all the women living under the bridge and over the heat grates in cities every where. Anyone who thinks they are safe from a cardboard box house under cement structures still doesn't get the concept that it could be any middle class humanoid one pay check away from housing and financial disaster. I've been following the financila woes of Detroit since you started this series of poems about your concerns. What a mess! I'm so sorry that you are at the stress end of this long stupid chain of events.

  6. Love the poem and the followup essay. And the "troll" tie-in. Well done -- & good luck.

  7. So sad to think that this can happen right here! What a mess we've let this country get in. What a sad statement about we the people.

    My heart is with you, Mark.

  8. make come and get you...ugh is a hard reality and soon enough it will spread from there when the other jackals see it to rosaria's comment...we vote for who we are allowed to vote for--and they put in front of us...and call it freedom...

  9. i am not getting your updates for some reason...sorry i am late...

  10. Property taxes are a scary thing. You can control what you choose to pay for a house to some degree, and you can make sure the mortgage doesn't have any balloon clauses or anything, but you can't do diddly squat to what the government charges.

  11. Not only that...Fuck Em in Their Ass!!


  12. I am always surprised at people who have worked almost their entire lives and still do not own (or nearly own) their property. (one can now get a 15 year fixed at 4%, and refinance, if anything??)

  13. Mark, the dire straits of America's once great cities is chilling. I hope that things don't go any further downhill but I am such an optimist. "Michigan seems like a dream to me now"--always liked that song about looking for America. Prophetic.


So Walking Man I was thinking...