Zoom In (There’s Life Here), by Bruce ‘AllOne’ Pandolfo

Occasionally we receive submissions which, for reasons beyond anyone’s control, we can’t share within a specific issue. Even though it wasn’t a part of the issue we have something we think is very special and fits the current Poetry of Place theme perfectly. While we don’t claim to be music experts, we love music as much as we love poetry, so when someone marries the two together it’s bound to capture our attention. And that’s exactly what happened with the following piece of genre-crossing art. We’ve been humming it since we heard it, so we hope you’ll listen to “Zoom In (There’s Life Here)” by Bruce ‘AllOne’ Pandolfo – via bandcamp

Just in case you’re like us and enjoy a singalong, here are the lyrics:

Zoom In (There’s Life Here)

There’s life here, zoom into this road map dot,
struggle as sun rays peering through the choked black smog
great plumes of gray fumes the smoke stacks cough
a melancholy mushroom, hunched to hold back God

There’s life here, zoom into this road map dot,
it’s a frostbitten gloomy little Kodak shot
haunting windows grin those toothy broke glass boxes
when all is food stamps and cold snaps the romance stops.

This town’s cold nature has given these old faces
perpetual rosacia, weathered and broke neighbors,
the howling wind whistles, whips until your hope melts,
as it to tourniquet your warm soul’s wellspring with this snow-belt
It’s as though people bound in this petri-town are trapped
the crystal minutes in this snow-globe hourglass
imprisoned in this withered Alcatraz
a rural farmers’ almanac
cultivating power-plants
sour glances, bitterness in their faces, red/read
bitter winter, Lake Effect,
overtly drafty strain and stress
overdraft in the negative
break your neck to make a check
to pay the rent and never save a cent
break the bank breaking bread,
the writings on the wall
but it ain’t been read
(as the literacy percentages are less
than the frigid obscene temperatures).
Making a living?
it’s either a criminal record
or juggle odd jobs for minimal compensation
at literal “mom N pops” with pitiful
improbable odds of making it.

There’s life here, zoom into this road map dot,
struggle as sun rays peering through the choked black smog
great plumes of gray fumes the smoke stacks cough
a melancholy mushroom, hunched to hold back God

There’s life here, zoom into this road map dot,
it’s a frostbitten gloomy little Kodak shot
haunting windows grin those toothy broke glass boxes
when all is food stamps and cold snaps the romance stops.

There’s a novelty charm in the touristy parts
but the marveling is sparse at the poverty charts
if not for school founding and student housing
financially they’ve be through the ground
while locals loathe those SUNY crowds,
swallow pride,
tune them out, they’re a revenue source,
they all imbibe
silver spoon in mouth, scheduled course
in life parents off to buy them a new Porsche
meanwhile bouncers close their eyes
from fake IDs otherwise
they’re getting the boards,
close shop, nail the X on the door
since the rent ain’t secure.
Department stores implement
art of war avariciousness
carnivores in a monopolistic malicious sense
starving artisans and small businesses
peddle edible plastic provisions
sweat shop fabric fashion gimmicks
to a desperate demographic that can’t afford Christmas gifts
Thanks to Walmart competition things aren’t at all optimistic
although there are promises of jobs for opportunistic
single moms though no one to watch the solemn kids
as the somnolent pops are off dismissive
gone to pop prescriptions or dodge addictions,
through all of this they trudge along,
acknowledging there’s something wrong
locked in like a rusty cog
’til reapers scratch their numbers off.

There’s life here, zoom into this road map dot,
struggle as sun rays peering through the choked black smog
great plumes of gray fumes the smoke stacks cough
a melancholy mushroom, hunched to hold back God

There’s life here, zoom into this road map dot,
it’s a frostbitten gloomy little Kodak shot
haunting windows grin those toothy broke glass boxes
when all is food stamps and cold snaps the romance stops.

Don’t get me wrong, the summers are immaculate,
stunning and fantastic yet, three quarters of the year
this habitat is crushing to inhabit!
Moreover, addicts battling the ugliest of habits
in morose dilapidated poor prone homes
more over the border of foreclosures
shrug worn shoulders observing as their neighbors kicked out
on the outskirts of town are domiciles isolated by miles of acreage
drive through, take your pick and take a picture,
little story of a rural house,
mountain backdrop with a forest crown
their obligatory abandoned barn falling down
photo bombs the foreground.
But when offered,
the smiles aren’t faked a bit,
hospitality and politeness made with childish gracefulness
gruff and earnest dedicated mom n pop services
hardworking over decades endured and heard
the modest monetary amounts moving through their till
mandatory to stop in to know enticing local diner smells
coffee grinds and food on grills, perched on a stool instilling
gossip eavesdropping on rumor mills
social butterfly on the wall absorbs sounds
dialing in the talk of a small town,
admiring it despite the flaws I’ve poured out
and faults I’ve scrawled down…

There’s life here, zoom into this road map dot,
struggle as sun rays peering through the choked black smog
great plumes of gray fumes the smoke stacks cough
a melancholy mushroom, hunched to hold back God

There’s life here, zoom into this road map dot,
it’s a frostbitten gloomy little Kodak shot
haunting windows grin those toothy broke glass boxes
when all is food stamps and cold snaps the romance stops.

social butterfly on the wall absorbs sounds
dialing in the talk of a small town,
admiring it despite the flaws I’ve poured out
and faults I’ve scrawled down,
astounded appalled how
there’s little to applaud now
with condescending piteousness
I marvel amazed reminiscing,
I can not explain the nostalgic aches
when visiting such a city as this.

There’s life here, zoom into this road map dot,
struggle as sun rays peering through the choked black smog
great plumes of gray fumes the smoke stacks cough
a melancholy mushroom, hunched to hold back God

There’s life here, zoom into this road map dot,
it’s a frostbitten gloomy little Kodak shot
haunting windows grin those toothy broke glass boxes
when all is food stamps and cold snaps the romance stops.

allone

AllOne is an experimental hip-hop lyricist, performance poet, singer/songwriter, author, beat-boxer. He molds a brain into the shape of a heart and squeezes it onto a page to write thoughtful and sentimental lyrics laced with tight knit wordplay, rhyme patterns and poetic devices. Utilizing any genre and any musical means to make a genuine and meaningful conversation with you, the appreciated listener.

You can find him in all of the following places:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AllOneVoice
BlogSpot – http://allonenetwork.blogspot.co.uk/
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/AllOneVoice
ReverbNation – https://www.reverbnation.com/AllOneVoice
SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/AllOneVoice