Thursday, December 19, 2013


Perfectly perched,
positioned for manna
from heaven to come raining out of the sky.
It’s too bad the bread of life is afraid to fall here.

We are left to our own ways
and mean devices to survive.
There is nothing left here
now that we have been compared
to Mogadishu nationally
only without the brave soldiers defending
their fallen willingly.
No all we have here is
the suits sitting with their $1000 a day lawyers
splitting and dividing up the bones as bounty.

People never mattered here
or them from somewhere else
would never had coined the term
“murder capitol of the world.”

This is not really a place where neighbor likes neighbor
for that is one fast way to lose your life.
I hate the little two minute news blurbs
used to reinforce burbs fears,
that tell of someone shot and killed
and all the people living near the dead say
“what a good neighbor he was.”

They are dead themselves already
they just haven’t caught the bullet yet.
Which is not true,
everyone here has caught the bullet,
of course it is a head shot,
the surest way to get your point across.

I love poets who write of their love for Detroit
but I wonder how much of it do they know?  
“Even though I know the air hangs over River Rouge
like the smell of a dead dog’s ass…”
Blair wrote that and he passed beyond love for Detroit
enough to kill himself here.

I am a poet and I do not love this place
full of apartheid and hate
but I respect it,
that is enough to keep me alive,
to survive on memories of yesterday
when the hate was more open and palpable,
the days of learning to adapt,
to become capable of living in a city
that has shrank to a village of strangers
where no one gives a fuck
but to judge you on
more than your skin color than your name.
It’s never been different;
always it’s been the same.
But now, now no one cares
because we all know we swim
in the same pool of shit
that is Detroit, the truth of it.

© M Durfee

Blair’s line used without permission of estate.


  1. I would think that Detroit demands a certain amount of respect. As does anything that can kill you.

    1. Charles I have been in far more dangerous situations then Detroit but never for such a sustained period of time. We have a odd definition of respect in Detroit. If you make your business my business then I can take care of it, if you keep your business your business then it's all yours.

  2. it is where it is what is and what will you play safe and keep yourself out the way of the bullet, the real one, the one you have not already taken...

    i take it you saw the afluenza case in texas...ugh....

    1. Yes Brian i saw it and to be honest with you although i hold the 16 yr old responsible for driving drunk a 3.4 ton truck into a crowd at the roadside, I understand it, the hands travel with the eyes when driving drunk. But I can not excuse his parents who had him set up in his own house away from them. Piss poor parenting.

      I have the other part covered Brian.

  3. It's a pity that he took his life. I love that first line of his poem, the one you borrowed. It sets the tone. But most of the rest makes no impression on me since I don't know the references.

    1. Alice i honestly loved the guy, he was not from here though and only saw the last ten years of Detroit ending 3 years ago. Not to mention he was severely fatigued from all the draws people wanted from his time. I miss him, always will. His references when you listen could fit just about any crumbling city core, he saw beauty in it, I once did too, now I see 700,000 strangers simply ready at best get along because everyone here who does not live in the downtown area does not easily take shit. Everyone is on edge. It adds a different dynamic that is new to us. We do not want to get along or together, just to be left alone.

  4. Being human is so challenging

    from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

    1. It should not be so challenging though Cloudia, we live in a vastly different day than we did 50 years ago.

  5. Mark, Detroit is like that crazy relative you only want to see once in a while and when you do see him, you are careful, sort of awed, respectful, and curious. xo

  6. I hope that Detroit will rise again--born as something different but better.


So Walking Man I was thinking...