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when oliver high school closes, pittsburgh

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Message e b bortz
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at the end of the school year
how will the streets & avenues go
that used to be
the skeletal frame
of the whole

charles street
marshall avenue
california & termon & davis avenues
woods run
brighton & columbia places

self-fulfilling politician prophets
have long predicted & facilitated
depopulating & dying
of the component neighborhoods
after all
no one loafs on the stoops anymore
music imposters have invaded & replaced
the marcels and the chantels
yet the continuum
and great grandchildren
of the last great industrial migration
cling on desperate fringes
warhola scrapes along
sorting out
a turquoise front fender of a '55 ford
that used to park during school hours
on island avenue
near the corner store
now closed
near the oily oliver football field
now grass

--- e b bortz


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Poems, essays, and stories by e b bortz have been published widely.
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