Scott Avenue at Echo Park Blvd., Los Angeles:
(click on the photo above for musical accompaniment)
The legend lives on from the Gold Room on down
of the neighborhood called “Gitche Gumee.”
The street, it is said, never gives up her dead
when the paddle boats rest for the season.
For a month to month lease I sold my young niece
to the owners of Fashion of Echo.
The apartment was mine, so I bought me some wine
at the good liquor store House of Spirits.
The flat was the pride of the so-called East Side;
it looked like the houseboat on Quincy.
As duplexes go, it was bigger than most
and the landlord would pay gas and water.
The strict no pet clause, well, it gave me some pause
but we shook hands and I took the keys.
And later that night when my telephone rang,
could it be a cat howl he’d been hearin’?
My ancient feline made a tattle-tale sound
he knocked over his food dish and water.
And my landlord knew, as yes, I did too
’twas the end of my sweet tenancy.
I packed up my things and I gave back the keys,
and said, “Sir, it’s bin good t’know ya!”
I cursed my old cat and then that was that
I was out of the Edmund Fitzgerald.