Friday, April 22, 2016



Waking up treading water in the deep end
surrounded by empty beer bottles
(no corks, no notes), plastic cocktail cups,
a used needle or three, a few condoms (filled & spilled)
and noises of care less parties all around me.
It is interesting to watch what passes as fun for the fat asses
while my legs, arms, and back ache
from trying to swim in my always disturbed shallow sleep.                                     

“Not a Care in the World” is the universal motto in the slums.
Babies dead, old folks fear right, left, ahead;                                               
while the party is never ending, here am I,
just a piece of the pool scum, trending to the middle,
head barely above the water no opinion.
I watch the message scrolling across the pavement
sending more and more dire reports
of continued fucked up flooding
rushing in hell bent on bringing
the broken water main pool
more hood rats shit where I am treading.
Life, it seems should be a flood.
Floods are good, they wash away the blood.

There is no triage here anymore.
It is fully recognized that no matter
whatever message is put forward
it turns to useless endeavor
while them who rule with laws, 
the order and the schools
think they are ever so clever with words of
“we’ll do this, we’re doing that”
when the reality is they pocket the money and do scat
while getting even more red in cheek and nose;
good single malt scotch at city hall;
oh let’s not forget the envelopes
that make them even more fat.
Life downtown is a never ending party,
one could say in the pandering offices there 
living is a constant disco ball.
Politics and preaching are perfect
slum life professions for them with the gift for graft.

I watch them who are human here,
don’t say much though I know the language,
not afraid only tired of the ever rising damage.
Shit going so high that soon enough
it will fill what is now an ever present gray sky
giving off muted, let’s say a slight muted light—
oh crap I have to stop and go dive my ass under.
I see two idiots, no three, ready to have a gun fight—
one last look around before I go down.
Babies on the lawn, check
old folks trying to get warm, check
a couple of dudes working on a car, check
yep stage seems to be ready set.
Time for me to disappear for bit.
The predicted flood
of no one cares about it blood is about to hit.

© M Durfee

I know many who stop by here want to see a softer gentler side to what I write, but if I did that I would be lying to myself and to you. I refuse to lie. Yes there are crocuses blooming, and trees coming to flower, while the dandelions, and Tiger Lilly's are growing leaves but what I write on is what I am forced to look at, not what I would choose. Yes I could focus on the good, the serene, the transcendent but those are the fleeting sights; flowers die too quickly and a year is long time to wait to see them again. 

These poems categorized under certain tags are documentary of early 21st century urban life in the impoverished parts of almost, if not every, major American city. I could polish the wormy apple but still within, the worms of destruction will be there eating and multiplying. Don't just think I am being hard on Detroit, but look to Chicago, LA, NOLA, all places where the meat and even the fat is taken off the bone before that skimpy bit is thrown to an impoverished population brought up on apathy and gratification of self-first and last.

Respect is a big word down in the slums. I do not know what the fuck context that word, so commonly used, means. I am supposed to respect them who killed 7 children under 6 this year? Cops that never show up? People who literally party until 4am night after night? Them who claim to rule the roost but never even come into the chicken coop? What the fuck is this "respect" everyone is so damned worried about? If what they mean is fear--I am supposed to respect them by fearing them? All I can reply and have on many occasions "bring it, too old to be scared and too fat to run away."

There is a rot crawling on the landscape and after all of my years of writing and seeing it grow with no antidote I feel it has to be chronicled. It ain't pretty but it is real. Very real.


  1. I admire your ability to face the rot on the landscape and someone has to hold the mirror up for us to see some truth. I see the ugly, despair at my inability to change it then look for something more palatable.

  2. I admire you ability to capture the raw part of humanity. Yet, after reading the first paragraph, I was ready for a shower :)

  3. I don't know why a couple dudes walking on a car in the context of floating... stuff... babies and elderly should strike me as funny, but it did

  4. Pollyanna don't get it no mo'. If she ever did.

  5. Respect, the way it is so often used, I want to say: "I'm not sure you're using that word correctly."

  6. Mark, I agree with Charles. I was always taught to respect my elders but with age it is no longer a given. Respect must be earned in my book.


So Walking Man I was thinking...