Walking Tour of Charlotte, North Carolina

Begin at Settler’s Cemetery, 5:00pm is social hour.
Notice the bottle blonde in a skirt suit
talking to the banker in neatly pressed chinos.
Next to them, a yorkie taking a shit
on the grave of founder Thomas Polk.
Downwind a homeless man on a bench,
encircled by empty tallboys of Pabst,
can smell the desecration.

Continue towards Trade noting the
Presbyterian Church that occupies an entire city block
in spitting distance from a bank headquarters.
Can you feel the expansive weight of institutional thought
pressing down on the flowering dogwoods?

Pass buildings not quite old enough to tear down
and place a commemorative plaque in front of,
but still not new and shiny enough to
warrant further mention.

Head towards Trade and Tryon,
the historic center of “Uptown”
and speculate on the origin of that expression.
The truth of which, I can assure you,
is buried in government documents
along with who really killed Kennedy
and moved the Hornets out of town

If you’re feeling daring,
stand in the middle of the intersection, amidst the
swarming cars, and read the bronze plate
signifying the Mecklenburg Declaration
Contemplate the revolutionary past of the city.
Can you see this history shape us today?
If you can, let us know.

Walk south on Tryon towards the new Duke Energy building,
Yes, it does move on an immense hydraulic
rigging that allows it to follow the
path of the sun.
Catch the light shows every night at 10:00 and 11:00pm,
but don’t stare directly into the LEDs
or you risk losing your ability
to produce analytical thought.

Head back northwards to the city center
passing Ratcliffe Flowers, Latta Arcade,
an inscription to Jefferson Davis,
and stretch your hand up to the B-of-A tower.
Touch the Queen’s imposing crown.
If you prick your finger on the top spindle,
you’ll fall asleep for 100 years.

And if you ever get the chance,
drive outside the city,
approximately 80 miles West,
and hike Grandfather Mountain,
the morning immediately following the rain.
You can see Charlotte pinned to the horizon,
piedmont mirage in an ocean of trees.
Pillars swaying in the heat,
tiny dicks penetrating the sky.
Consider the founders, the CEOS,
the architects, the city planners…
Who, do you think, was pointy?
Who was round?
Who was long?
Who was standard?
Who was dangerous?
Who was narrow?
Who was broad?
Who was dreaming?