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Friday, March 11, 2016

Tower City Travel Poetry

I feel like Tower City is a big part of my pre-teen and early teenage life. One of my friends lived in Tower City, a small town in Schuylkill County (two hours away from where I live), and every once in a while I would go visit her. Her father worked with my mother and I met her at the company picnic in 2000. We would often take turns visiting one another - every once in a while I'd go to Tower City and every once in a while she would come to King of Prussia for the weekend. I loved meeting her friends and we all became friends. They moved back to South Carolina in 2004 and I visited twice. Mom and I visited the family in 2005, then I went again in 2009.

Here are three songs that are important from that time. I am going to work on a Kittie poem in a bit.

The Pre-Teen Glory of the Mall

They love this mall, in all its huge glory;
we have drove, well Anna's mom has drove
two hours to return me back to King of Prussia
and to shop at the mall before we separate.
Hot Topic, Sanrio, we hit them both
for the latest Goth fashions and Hello Kitty swag;
a blink-182 shirt for me, Nine Inch Nails for Anna,
maybe a System of a Down tee too, Korn for Val.
We all laugh at the bondage pants,
black, navy, red, plaid--
we wish we could afford a pair of these pants
complete with silver chains.
Walking out, $20 short, it's time for FYE--
it's huge with CDs wall to wall,
posters on the side: we will spend hours
leafing through all the CDs--
Kittie, Eminem, Linkin Park, but is that Spongebob?
"That album is awesome!" Val exclaims,
"you should totally get it! Songs from the show!"
I put the $10 on the counter--
F.U.N. Song cheers me up on the long, cold day;
when I wish I could visit the old steel town,
the small house on Collier Avenue, so welcoming,
and spend time with the gang exploring Tower City.

It's a simple poem - free verse. I'm 12 in this poem spending my babysitting money. Should I add that point? I remember the "peer pressure" to buy that Spongebob album like it was yesterday. I still have that CD and it's on my iPod - the songs from the show still put a smile on my face.

Halloween In Tower City

Tower City comes alive at October's end,
caught between Halloween and Christmas--
jack-o-lanterns and ghosts, the shepherds' fend.
Anna's mom drives us around the block;
"this is a tradition in Tower City,
houses start now for Christmas, around the clock--
you might see this in Harrisburg Emily, a bit,
and you might see this in King of Prussia too, Jess!
But this is our amusement here,
driving around to see colourful lights, dimly lit.
The colour is relaxing after a Halloween party,
dressed as a hip-hop star, fake belly piercing,
a joy meeting Anna's friends and eating smarties,
I feel safe here in a post 9/11 world,
a month after the world changed forever,
yet to my 12 year old self, new worlds twirl,
Far East metal blasts through our walkmans,
we try to figure out the lyrics to Chop Suey,
as a fading religion's light disappears into land.

Card and CD Anna gave me in 2001.
Though, the Kittie CD she gave me in 2001 was edited,
I traded it in 2006 for the unedited version.

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