Uptown Poetry: Uptown

BY Frankie Reese (@WonderFrankie )

The following is a tale of two cities

A Dr Jekyll Mr Hyde of a town

The glitz and glamour, the nitty gritty

This is how my Uptown Gets down

And I’m sure you’ve heard of us

Maybe even seen it

But believe me

When I tell you, Whatever view

You’ve got is scenic

I’ve lived it

In this hustler’s paradise

Where everyday is a gamble

And fates got a grip on the Heights

In the words of one of our very own

A slow, slow strangle

And it’s audible in the air

Cacophonous nightly car chases

Up Audobon fill the darkness

With their red and blue lights

And illuminate and

play to the beat of the night

And I, already know the words to that song

 Paddy wagons full of lost souls

And my city’s bastard children

Barrel down the avenue

Looking to victimize me and mine

while we chillin’

And you wonder why were cynics

See, I’m not about that life

but I’ve lived it

 Sirens blaring

down Dyckman and St nick

Are merely white noises as mundane as the tick ticking of the clock

That accounts for lost hours and lives

Fallen children and abandoned wives

The struggling mother of 5

Who works herself to death

to keep hope alive, for her seeds

Who have dreams of one day being

Stick up kids

already got greed in their eyes

Now ain’t that some shit

 But luckily, Lucky Me

I run with the innovators and dopeboys

Intellectuals and thugs

Musicians, souls on a mission

Artists and dealers

Writers and hustlers

Young mothers just trying to make it and look what that made me

 I’m so uptown

I know females who’ve lost their lives to the life they carry within themselves

I know mothers who’ve lost children to these mean streets

To senseless beef

And somehow still believe in the power of God

 Nosotros Somos Soldados

I know people who truly hustle

Out of a sense of desperation

With a sick fuckin’ tunnel vision

Whom the education system failed

Who will never know legal money

Never even have a tax write off

So tell me something

Where do you get off telling me what’s right and what’s wrong?

Mr. Officer with all due respect, I don’t think you’ve the slightest idea

As to what’s going on

 In the midst of everything

they’ve tried to force down our throats

They forgot to teach us our history

And here we stand years later

Just trying to make it on our own

 We are the seeds

who were never sewn

Fuck the status quo

We are the dreamers of dreams

With hopes and a dogged tenacity running through our veins…

Not satisfied with the mundane

Or the technicalities of an

Uptown ill-defined

 This is our life

This is my city, my love

My heart and soul

So I’ll be damned if I’m told

That she and I won’t grow

 This is the ballad of me and my love

The end all be all of all Love stories

And all the guts and glory

 This is what it sounds like when doves cry

This is Love on fire

A wicked tale of my trip through the mire and so it goes

 And I suppose that by now

You’ve gotten a good glimpse

and you can see

How deep her essence flows within her streets

Within me, with we

Maybe even feel my beef

But you will never understand how much my Uptown means to me

 We may walk in the same shoes

But see,

I got an awkward step

I box left

And it’s all thanks to Her

 So thank you 184th

thank you Hillside and Thayer

thank you Arden and Ellwood

thank you Audubon and Broadway

for molding your legends in the making

Oh Uptown, my Uptown

My Hearts Infinity

 She is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever known

She’s my home

She boasts stories of victories

Trials and injustice

But I love it

Shes got an electricity in her that runs dozens upon dozens of blocks deep

Has a nightly battle with the cops and it never fades…

She is always all sorts of hot and I just can’t get enough

 Tougher than all the sum of her parts

With a gangsters heart and a poets tongue

She’s birthed legends

 And if heavens got a ghetto

It’s not as perfect as my Hood

Not as beautiful as my Uptown

Not as complex as my Dyckman

And certainly

Not as a real as my Heights

Uptown, you molded me

And I will forever be indebted to you

I’ll take you everywhere with me

When my dreams come true

 So Uptown, my Uptown

In the meantime and in between time

 I will dream, oh yes

I’ll be dreaming

A little dream

of you.

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