Frank Sherlock, former Philadelphia Poet Laureate, created Write Your Block as a way for Philadelphians to explore their neighborhoods via poetry, charting—and sharing—their communities through their own words. The result: A map of Philadelphia that is not rivers and parks and streets, but ideas and memories and dreams for neighborhoods through the people who know them best. Below, one such poem, from one Philadelphian.
Submit your own neighborhood poem here.
A transient block of students, revelers, patients, and healers;
A golden path strewn by silent sentries who have stood vigil since gas lamps flickered;
A lonely, stifling night where prostitutes and celebrators mingle while the others sleep.
Each morning, two-wheeled urban enthusiast hoards travel west; millennial dogs in sweater vests travel east. The wafting coffee and chess through our Greenstreet (meeting place) and breakfast sandwiches at our Rana (meeting place) divide old and new, young and aged, wealthy and eager.
Center City both discourages and invites neighbors. Know self and community but don’t look into their eyes. Have strong opinions while flying through and never staying. This block is home but temporary. Will the next see the decaying rot underneath the charade of wine bar living rooms?
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