The Marting Building, alias the Town Center, All Aglow
As hard as it is to believe, the empty, leaky, moldy, politically radioactive 135-year-old Marting building is yet again being pushed as the home for city offices in spite of voters having turned it down again and again.
How proudly, how reverently
A gift from Marting’s was given,
For Marting’s imparted unto Appalachia
A little touch of heaven—
A cashmere sweater, a prom dress,
A suit, a shirt, a fancy tie-pin—
“One of Ohio’s good stores,”
A place where even a guy would buy in.
But now in the leaking building
Shineth an unearthly light:
The mold of hundred-and-thirty-years
Glows eerily at night.
O, little town of Portsmouth,
How still thy overdozing politicians lie,
Who paid two million for Marting’s
And gave the city a black-eye.
While the rich whites celebrate
Xmas on the Hill above,
Listening to the caroling
To the birth of the God of love,
The fifty-thousand-watt Weasel,
Full of holiday chatter and mirth,
Is canoodling the Skunk and the Fox,
And a Mike of considerable girth.
O, God above,
Listen to us, we pray.
Cast out the lawyers and developers,
The Philistines of today.
Let the archangel Gabriel,
The great glad tidings tell:
The rich white trash of Portsmouth
Are going straight to hell.
R. Forrey, 2009
This poem was originally posted on Dec. 11. 2009. For the 2006 Marting Xmas poem, click here. For more on the Marting building, click here.