Saturday, April 28, 2007

Heintz Factory, Nedro Avenue and B

By overwhelming popular demand, another Arnold Schnabel poem; this sonnet appeared in the March 27, 1963 issue of "The Olney Times", less than a week after Arnold's discharge from the Byberry mental hospital. (Grateful acknowledgement to the Arnold Schnabel Society.)

"These Are My Streets"

These are my streets, the pavement solid beneath my feet.
I was released from the hospital only yesterday
But shall remain on sick leave (as is only meet)
For another two weeks, then it’s back to the railway.
So I walk these streets: Mascher, Roselyn, Spencer and Grange,
These streets I love, among these people with whom
I have lived for sixteen thousand days, quotidian and strange,
And sixteen thousand nights within the Heintz plant gloom,
Its hellish fires and belching black smoking breath
Roiling outside my window like beckoning doom each night --
But no: I must not think of fire and darkness and death,
For I am better now and I must think of love and light:
Godfrey Avenue, and Olney; Rosemar, Sparks, and Champlost Street:
Friend Jesus, may this pavement stay beneath my feet.

(For links to other poems from Arnold Schnabel, some better but none of them worse, and to the serialization of his previously unpublished and indeed unheard-of memoir Railroad Train to Heaven, check the right hand column of this page.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ya can't keep a good mental patient down. You go Schnab.