A Land of Endless November, PA

A Land of Endless November, PA
By Claudius Cloyd
While the rent goes up in New York
And New Jersey and just about everywhere else
This is one of the places where the
Poor come to live
The poor and the downward sliding
Sliding downward into
A land of endless November
A land of gated communities
A land from where the sweet birds of youth
Have flown
Their families come with them
Their problems come with them
But their hearts stay at home
A lot of them have jobs hundreds of miles away
Each day is a 6 hour commute
With carcasses of torn up deer at the side of the road
Every few miles or so
And the rent is going up here too
On afternoons the locals watch Family Feud
At some bar
Desperate pointless women argue with librarians over
3 or 4 dollars in late fines
People go to church on
Saturday nights
In our bathroom we use hot pink duct tape
To keep the tile on the wall
More duct tape goes at the base of the toilet because
That sucker leaks when you sit on it
The landlord says he’s getting right on it but it’s been
Like that since we moved in 2 years ago
This drives my wife crazy, while me—
I’m just thankful we don’t live in Haiti
I like to look out the front window at the ducks
Or the geese
In the creek across the street
(Sometimes you can see a heron
In the summer you might spot a beaver or 2
And one time I saw a turtle
As big as my head)
My wife does too
She has painted that creek 4 times
Landscapes like these, I think, inspired guys like Dostoevsky
Or Carson McCullers or Céline or Fante or Bukowski
Suffering landscapes, lands torn not by war but maybe
Something similar
Human landscapes with no art and dead music like rotten applesauce
So that it’s hard to
Keep your eyes open and try to remember they’re human
A suffering human landscape with a Wal-Mart
With some gas stations and barreling semi-trucks and long-distance commuters
Who work hard and earn their wage of headaches

0 thoughts on “A Land of Endless November, PA

  1. This is quite a tribute to the human condition…and from a well-thought-out singular perspective. Class, standard of living, quality of life, the rat-race…ahhh, kill me now! lol.
    I appreciated the variety of line and stanzas in this piece–with pondering pausematic couplets filling the guts of the mid-section…with more thoughtful longer observations/sentiments at the beginning and end. All was flowing.
    I can tell you put a lot of heart into this. Nice move in comparing earth landscape with human landscape…”Human landscapes with no art and dead music like rotten applesauce.” Imaginative metaphor and simile. Whole piece had impressive readability and excelled at portraying the depravity of how low our existence can swing.
    So i’ve read and marveled at this work and am ruminating on the choice of ‘Novembers’ in ‘A Land of Endless…’. November seems like an interim ‘tweenie’ month…a Limbo/Purgatory of sorts between Summer and the hard hitting Winter months of Dec. and Jan. November is also the month of ‘Thanksgiving’ and when elections are typically held. November is also the month before the END of the YEAR! Lots of connotations there–impressive delivery with straightforward communication. Loved it!

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