Brian Builta, Ladies Throw Down Barbecue and More

Rosemary Bailey, Pencil 1



Ladies Throw Down Barbecue and More

Unreluctantly, the shattered sign reads:


This eastside hood is depressed but still
no reason for ladies to throw down
good barbecue, which must be why this joint
is closed, in fact is only a cracked slab
along with the other establishments here

on East Rosedale, block after foolproof block
of shutters, bars, plywood windows and burnt toast
with only the Classy Lady somehow persisting
with its windowless cinderblock structure
and a new stretched and zip-tied sign


a calibrated effort to keep the ladies
classy, safe and unclamorous. What
this place needs is a comedy show,
tonight! Two blocks down
the Family Dollar is still 


for years now.

Brian Builta


Review by Jared Pearce

The snapshot of urban landscape decay is straightforward and striking here: establishments seek participation in the midst of failure by offering pleasure and safety.  The poem then turns the problem away from what might be considered events geared toward the young and single to the family (in the Family Dollar), but also notes that no movement to social safety or comfort can be found there, as it is never actualized.  The entire poem shows a society stuck and asks us to consider the rhetoric of civilization against society’s presumed purpose and meaning.

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