Corrosion From the Urban Tongue

-The poor folks play for keeps down here, They’re the living dead

Corrosion From the Urban Tongue

Jeers and jostle, street apostle

Passioned cries, ghetto brothel

Alley trash, who beg for alms

Greasy words and greasy palms

Rusty words of oxidation

Urban filth, contamination

Acidic salt, corrosive slime

Sewer garbage, crack house grime

Corner queens, hellish screams

Sucker punch, stolen dreams

The craftsmanship of busted lips

Cut your tongue out, should you flip

Putrid painting, toxic mold

Whispered cries of growing old

Mumbling grizzled winter witch

Every eye looks at the snitch

Insults, gossip, degradation

Clip your tongue for decoration

Slither slip deep in your throat

Grasping for that blip of moat

Finger flick, skillful lick

Rhyme is dope, words are slick

Ultimatum, chances ended

Shut ya mouf, its recommended

Alley stalker, not a talker

Respect the knife, save your life

Window duels, tenement rules

Money talk from fools and mules

Hungry babies, barking rabies

Pimping shouts of lords and ladies

Silence speaks of violence

Sinner song, the words are wrong

Guns come out, so run along

Might makes right, longest night

Fighting words demand a fight

Inner city, speech committee

A million voices, but none are pretty



The quote at the beginning of this piece is from a song, Mean Street, by the American music group, Van Halen (1981, Fair Warning)

About the Author

R.J. Schwartz is an American poet, having previously published, Poetry of the Human Condition: The Ups and Downs of Modern Living

The Lover’s Thread, Poetry for Couples, and contributed to The Creative Exiles an anthology of poems: Let the Words Speak

He also recently published a Science-Fiction novel, which he co-wrote with his son, called The Secrets of the Moon

His newest book, Things That Go Bump in the Night, Poetry of Fear and Fright, will be released in April, 2023.

To read more of this author’s work, his works can be found here.

R J Schwartz
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R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

One thought on “Corrosion From the Urban Tongue

  • April 10, 2023 at 6:49 AM

    I love the line “inner city, speech commitee” maybe not a representative line of the powerful nature of your poem but I love how it flows. Anyways, great poem. Always such a bleak contrast between nature poetry and urban poetry. Jamie

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