Poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti


This poem was inspired by the painting Native New York (below) which appeared in The Nation magazine. The poem was published in Ferlinghetti's book: A Far Rockaway of the Heart.

By Brooklyn Bridge
  an elephant stands under the Elevated
    in Eric Drooker's painting
      in Nation magazine
        in its issue on
          The Corporatization of the World
In the jungle closing 'round it
  a puma waits with shining eyes
   as a train slides into view
     on its Elevated track
           between empty tenements
                  carrying no passengers
                             toward the trumpeting elephant
           who stands below with trunk upraised
              and tusks turned toward the train
                 and seems not about to
                                      turn and run again
As a naked nymph plays a saxophone upraised
  as exotic birds flit about
    and huge jungle vines
                   twine about
                             the Elevated's swaying stanchions
As the sun turns tropic
                      over green mansions
                      
                      
              July, 1996
                     
Native New York


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