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Emerald City

Emerald City

Thin dogs snarl ferociously
fighting for a bone
in an empty parking lot
where shapeless people moan
about inclement weather
and the rising cost of wine
all the while insisting
that their attitudes are fine

old man lying in the rain
bleeding from his head
praying when he goes to sleep
he will not wake up dead
wants to dream of younger days
when things were really cool
but dreams are treading water
when you’re only just a fool

shabby girl, about thirteen,
sells herself to eat
tucks her earnings in a shoe
and totters down the street
junkie lurking in the dark
steals her mary jane
so he can buy another hit
of lethal crack cocaine

this neighborhood is quite a zoo
the animals are mean
robbing, raping, shooting dope
and other things obscene
but, what the hell, its only life
no fantasy can cope
when harsh reality is there
to strangle every hope

C. Lon R. Bruso

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
Editing stage: 


This piece is packed with imagery. It's the tale of the dark side of life.Love it!


The poem is part imagination and part recollection of life on the street as I remember it!

author comment

Long time no post. I read your comment on Jess' poem. I feel your pain. Comments have often been rare for me on the sight, just thankful to have folks like you who have always tended to stop by so I shall re-pay in kind.

I'm not much for the title. Seems cliche and a little lost on the scene.

I actually missed the rhyme scheme until S2. This is good because the flow was there and I paid no mind to the rhyme, even more so given the uneven meter of the lines.

I like the theme, even though it is common. But only because you bring that "Lonnie" touch to it.

Hope to find my way back to the site more often and when I do find your work.



Good to see you too! The poem is what it is, a depiction, ala me, of life as it was, is, and probably ever shall be on the many mean streets of our wonderful wold!

author comment

Like it loads, a true picture of life on mean streets. No crits. Regards Roscoe...

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

I especially appreciate the no crits part! LOL!! Have a great day, my friend!

author comment

the wizards van...
opium sleeps

farmhouse door
screen lost
in the scream of wind
the curtian screen
parted by the curious dog

i remember the nights
the cries aloud in the parks
the quiet pockets and glades
and trails where refuge was
to be lost without being lost

the doors in the house
drug of choice in every room
and love of descriptions
lost in the brilliance of day
the roar of the workies and traffic
in their flocks sunup to sundown

but that rush...that rising glow
from the bitter rancid twist of
tin tops and heated glass
the submergence and releasing
pressure gripping the soul
the middle

animal emergence and something
darker in glittering eyes from
the lost to the newly found looking
from a rage and boredom
and cold prowl the shinning eyes
dead or alive in the light

oz promised all our modern
world could then..technicolor
and promise of war outbreak
flying monkeys
choice of eye color
and flat monitors to see the
whereabouts of all
things desired

from ruby promises
and wishes of home

emerald city was a gated land
gaurds and check point charleys
the magician ascending

decending from all the fresh

hell to hell with a hit shot snort
and ingested spell...

intensely cast poem Lonnie
from a land i toured
long long ago

thank you!

I always enjoy your in-depth commentaries as well as your poetry! Hope all is well up North!

author comment

I like that the structure and rhyming scheme are not intrusive.

The content bothers me a little, as it should, but perhaps not for the reasons you intended. It is a highly evocative description of the dark side of urban living but it is just that, a description, a portrait if you will. Personally I would like to see the content have purpose, like an intimation of the causes of this dark and ghastly situation and possible remedies. Then again it is your own poem and your own intent.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

Were I to go into more detail of the reason things are as they are, I might be writing my next piece from a holding cell beneath some secret Government agency! Or, who knows, maybe I'm already doing that!

author comment

trying to entrap me into saying seditious things! Not that I need much encouragement [grins].

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

If that were the case, I'd be asking for one hell of a lot more money than I'm living on right now! Retirement SUCKS!

author comment

Has the USA got extradition agreement with Australia ?? lol
If so I may have to go to the states to support Jess.
I am sorry that your retirement sucks and that your country doesn't look after you as a Vet, this has been the curse of those bloody money grabber's at the government level for always.
Go fight for your country young man if you are killed we will bury you in a pine box even throw handles in, if you don't die we can let you spend a life of poverty, which is a living death.
It is death either way and it wont cost us much, so go fight for my home I shall not talk about yours again.
Our government is the same, you can see their priorities, where they modernise the prisons, make sentences for fraud short, and privatize the health service so the 70% of the population can't afford to be treated.
It is endless young Lonnie, I am so glad I am this age I haven't that many years to worry about such things.
You take care and know we are grateful for all you have given, Yours Ian.T
Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

A great view of the city and well written, so real in your words.
The children talk of a place they call the crystal city, which is much different to this one, but that's another story of theirs.
Great write take care and know you are in our thoughts ,
Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

Hope things are well across the pond for you and yours! Good to see you again!

author comment

I am glad that I didn't miss this one. It captures the very essence of the turmoil which you have scripted even though you have concluded with a fact of life that there is very little one can do about these bizarre facts of life and yet it also demonstrates your sensitivities and profile these incidents so graphically in a poetic form.

I liked the title as well.


raj (sublime_ocean)

Your kind words have definitely made my day, and I am deeply grateful for your continued support!

author comment

My apologies for my brain attack.
I think it is time you gave something back. Each poem has a flaw and it is only generous to help other people improve their work.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

Thanks for sharing your thought. I can only say that I have also critiqued poems if not always. Please know that there was no intention to attack anyone. I had commented without reading comments of others.


raj (sublime_ocean)

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate what you have said and do the best I can.


raj (sublime_ocean)

But in my own manner I came to the connection of the title to the content. it is a biopic cross section of the underbelly of society. Nothing pretty about it. I cringed at the stanza with the 13 year old, because it is feasible for such things to be. I am so stoked that the Occupy movement has come to something, the Tiny House movement, where private land is being allotted for erection of tiny houses to house homeless people.

In ink,

It is indeed just as you said, a look at the deeper, dirtier side of our social system! Glad you stopped by to read and leave me feedback!

author comment

Its all been said before me, a beautiful write on a sad situation...kudos

love to you both Jayne xxx

("Always and Forever") - (Never lose a holy curiosity.-Albert Einstein)

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