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C.O.N.Y. — Commune of New York 

C.O.N.Y. — Commune of New York 

With a plastic spoon in hand
Fished up from a garbage can
And twelve-ounce paper coffee cup
Filled with macaroni
I walk beside my bony pony, Tony,
To C.O.N.Y.
Commune of New York
North up Broadway
Past Madison Square
Whose name’s been changed
Old James was such a hilding
The Empire State Building
Is now a vertical farm — because
The Commune dismantles the State
And all of those luxury buildings; you
Can have an empty unit, too
And carve up the streets and avenues,
Plant beans and grow
Potatoes — on the loading docks,
In now no longer empty shops,
Plays are staged, these days (why not?)
In the Commune of New York;
Plays about the new Eddie Pus
Who doesn’t do Mother Melania,
But, still dismembers Donald Duck —
Though this time’s wise
So doesn’t pinch out his eyes —
Or plays about the flus of flies,
And flows of fleas, those parasites
Are thrown outside of C.O.N.Y. where
It’s been agreed, necessities
Are free — can’t be commodities
How do you like that?
And Wall Street’s now an apple grove,
Central Park has been expanded
Spreading out over the Queensboro bridge
Now a hanging garden
All the way down to Roosevelt Island
And over the FDR
And plays about the kangabats
Bouncing into flight below
The moon
Where Armstrong’s silver soup spoon still
Is drifting about in the dust
Drawing lines, and sending signs,
On some clear nights
About the crises
Crisis, you know, was a medical term
A time to intervene and heal,
And healer, the physician —
From Physis, the antithesis of Nomos,
If you can believe the Old Stoics
And Nomos (the root of nomeus,
The shepherd — so,
Which is your Jesus?
Order as custom, or Logos and Eros?
Rules and Tradition, or Justice?
Dead letter or the spirt of the law?
War or peace?
Anesthetics or aesthetics?
Economy or Ecology?

 

Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at elliot.sperber@gmail.com and on twitter @elliot_sperber

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