The Hangover in New York
After Wislawa Szymborska’s “The End and The Beginning”
Note: Hangovers are cantilevered buildings in New York City. Italics are quotes from Wislawa Szymborska’s poem.
Arise! Time to leave squalor, filth behind
the wars, carts of corpses, sludge and ashes
instead, let’s build heavens in New York’s blue skies
ignore the shards of glass, the bloody rags below
Look up to Manhattan’s fresh fields of cloud
Purchase a thousand metres of empty air
And cantilever, a feat of engineering:
A tall, billowing palace of the firmament
An inversion of the traditional wedding cake
(because the higher you go, the more space is valuable)
Here, homes are made of marble, onyx, steel, and lace
Glittering towers, punch drunk with conspicuous
Consumption on top of a world few can afford
Where below rubbish is shoved to the roadside.
Come! Raise your eyes to the future
Gawk at the clouds, pay your dollar.
Kate Ennals is a prize-winning poet and writer who has lived in Ireland for 25 years. She runs poetry and writing workshops in County Cavan. Her blog is at kateennals.com