David McLansky

(5/24/1944 / New York City)

A Riff on A Room with a View


As a trusting tourist
I naively dwell
In an antique room
That's a deafening hell,
What is that gong
That clanging bell
That shakes the walls
Of my tiny cell?
I open wide the window shutters,
I feel my brain
Being churned to butter;
There stands across
The busy street
A church bell tower
Of a hundred feet;
In the distance
I see the ocean,
The street below
Is filled with motion,
I see the hordes
Of summoned people
I hear the clanging
Of the steeple
I could reach out and touch
Those stones,
I plug my ears
And loudly moan;
What was advertised
As an idyllic spot,
An ancient room
Above a parking lot
With a breathless view
Of the harbor town
Which cobbled streets
Snake around;
Is a torture chamber
From Dante's Inferno;
I should have stayed on
In Salerno.

Submitted: Saturday, February 09, 2013
Edited: Saturday, February 09, 2013

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