lawrence ferlinghetti

The long street
which is the street of the world
passes around the world
filled with all the people of the world
not to mention all the voices
of all the people
that ever existed
Lovers and weepers
virgins and sleepers
spaghetti salesmen and sandwichmen
milkmen and orators
bonelss bankers
brittle housewives
sheathed in nylon snobberies
deserts of advertising men
herds of high school fillies
crowds of collegians
all talking and talking
and walking around
or hanging out windows
to see what's doing
out in the world
where everything happens 
sooner or later
if it happens at all
And the long street
which is the longest street
in all the world
but which isn't as long
as it seems
passes on
thru all the cities and all the scenes
down every alley
up every boulevard
thru every crossroads
thru red lights and green lights
cities in sunlight
continents in rain
hungry Hong Kongs
untillable Tuscaloosas
Oaklands of the soul
Dublands of the imagination
And the long street
rolls on around
like an enormous choochoo train
chugging around the world
with its bawling passengers
and babies and picnic baskets
and cats and dogs 
and all of them wondering
just who is up
in the cab ahead
driving the train
if anybody
the train which runs around the world
like a world going round
all of them wondering 
just what is up
if anything
and some of them leaning out
and peering ahead 
and trying to catch
a look at the driver
in his one-eye cab
trying to see him
to glimpse his fave
to catch his eye
as they whirl around a bend
but they never do
although once in a while
it looks as if 
they're going to
And the street goes bowling on
with its windows reaching up
its windows the windows 
of all the buildings 
in all the streets of the world
bowling along
thru the light of the world
thru the night of the world
with landerns at crossings
lost lights flashing
crowds at carnivals
nightwood circuses
whorehouses and parliaments
forgotten fountains
cellar doors and unfound doors
figures in lamplight
pale idols dancing
as the world rocks on
But now we come
to the lonely part of the street
that goes around
the lonely part of teh world
And this is not the place
that you change trains
for the Brighton Beach Express
This is not the place
that you do anything
This is the part of teh world
where nothing's doing
where no one's doing
where nobody's anywhere
nobody nowhere
except yourself
not even a mirror
to make you two 
not a soul
except your own
and even that
not there
or not yours
because you're what's called
you've reached your station. 


The Long Street
A Coney Island of the Mind