boston (a very unlikely love poem)

What is unique about Boston? Does Boston inspire you to write? Grub Instructor and former national slam poetry champion Regie Gibson wrote "boston (a very unlikely love poem)" as an ode to his evolving relationship with our city. Regie performed this poem at last year's Lit Up gala, and we wanted to share it to encourage everyone to investigate what they love (or loathe!) about the Hub of the Universe that is Boston. 

hey boston! i dig you. no, i big dig you. big dig how every night 
you make stars & street lamps fight for the right to light you 
big dig your beanpot of asphalt, glass & rubber
how you make clean-hands and dirty-work sister & brother
how each year it’s once more unto the academic breach 
with your armies of educators fighting to teach 
your hard-headed students 
some of who get 
groggily foggy every night as they work late by dim desk light
to scale the menacing heights 
of your formidable scholastic walls

boston, i big dig each & every all 
of your taverns: those townie caverns 
where both blue & white-collar gather to holler out their dreams. 
bean? look out your myriad windows & big dig the scene 
of all those who fell in love with you so many years ago

see them on your corners 
from mattapan to wonderland jamaica plain to the cambridge border 
big dig them in their cars weaving through your streets 
(getting lost on your streets such as they are) 
those paved over cow paths that somehow have 
a laughable sort of chaotic order

boston? girlfriend? baby? …we need to talk. 
see, i’ve noticed lately that when you & i take a walk 
along the common 
you seem to have a brahmin-like need for power, 
this need to seethe & glower 
at the human race through a face wet with17th century sweat 
& you seem to thrive off telling people no, hell no, not you & not yet

& i admit that in the early days 
i couldn’t understand your wicked ways & this made me upset!
& i still get more than a little miffed at the fact 
that your Statehouse never seems to miss nor lack 
new ways in which 
to tax––

boston? how come when i need to call you your phone is never on? 
or, when i need to blue, green, orange & red line swing­­­
in order to blow off a little steam 
your t-trains refrain at 1 in the morn?
but, then again at dawn 
when your freshly-coffeed head begins its rattle & hum 
i can’t stay mad for long 
especially when i hear you stirring next to me 
yawning awake by yonder light that breaks out of easty 
piercing as fiercely as the bleating of bagpipes 
& the beating of afro-celtic drums

boston, you are one curious flex of beacon hill will 
& mass ave muscle dot ave bustle & com ave. moan,
washerwoman, student & cab-driver hustle 
singing freshly minted immigrant songs 
inside these crazy amazing gifts of drifting new england snow

so… yeah, boston? i dig you

even though there are days you are a real pain in the back… bay…
i gotta say: i big dig you
big dig the artists, writers, musicians, designers & the crazy poets 
you keep inviting & creating...
like some seriously therapy-needing mother 
whose love both nurtures & smothers
her children & others 
even though all the while her dirty water keeps breaking

Regie Gibson

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