Via Mick Hartley via Creative Boom-In Atlantic City: Photographs by Timothy Roberts that show its ‘last hurrah’ following years of struggle
Long ago in Atlantic City: I got my palm read by a girl under an aluminum scaffold covered with a cheap, white tarp. It cost $15. She took my hand in hers and led me through the other booths to a canvas folding chair. She traced my palm lines and told me I would be rich. There was salt in the air, and a smell of tar rising from the boardwalk. A fly kept landing on her cheek and she kept extending her lower lip, exhaling a breath to blow it away. She was busy looking into my hand, my eyes, then off into the sea or seemingly within herself, as if divining some deeper meaning. The fly would land again, crawl slowly over her cheek, and rub its two front legs together and over its eyes.
Her hand was soft.
From ‘Atlantic City Waiter’ by Countee Cullen
Just one stanza might do, to show there are many eyes you see, that may also see you:
‘For him to be humble who is proud
Needs colder artifice;
Though half his pride is disavowed,
In vain the sacrifice.’
It’s also the backdrop of a hard-luck guy with mob connections at the end of his rope. Desperate hopes.
As previously posted, and probably relevant enough to post here: Bowling Alone and Charles Murray:
The best poems I could find:
A Long Branch Song
Some days in May, little stars
Winked all over the ocean. The blue
Barely changed all morning and afternoon:
The chimes of the bank’s bronze clock;
The hoarse voice of Cookie, hawking
The Daily Record for thirty-five years
What is the poet looking at?:
Neither Far Out Nor In Deep
The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.
As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull.
The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be—
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.
They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep