Driving Through Buffalo

A Parody of Sailing to Byzantium


By Glenn Young

THAT is a country for old men. The young

In one another's arms, anyone who can, flees

- Those dying generations – in homes outgrown

The Niagara-falls, the once-ship crowded seas,

Bills, Sabers, Bison catastrophe all season long

Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.

Stays caught in the senseless city of neglect

A monument to almost no intellect.


An aged city is but a paltry thing

With tattered streets with holes, useless

Few use their mind to think,  to deeply think

For most only chatter about their mortal mess,

Nor are there ringing schools for studying

Monuments of their own incompetence;

And somehow I have sailed many seas and come

To this moldy city of Buffalo.


O churches standing in Buffalo’s sky

As if a gold reminder of the past bold,

rose from its initial fires, now stuck in the lie,

And the politicians desire to keep control.

Which consumes the city’s heart away; sick with desire

And fastened to a dying industrial base

It knows not what its future is; and leads itself

Into the being stuck to a failure of economic destiny.

The people’s nature I can never take

They seem stuck in thought of just hateful things,

But such forms endless industrial smiths make

Of hammered iron and steel enamelling

That once keep a drowsy population at work;

Now set upon the workers brow to sting

and keeps the men and ladies of Buffalo from talking

Of what is past, or passing, or to come.