The Valley of the World
By Jim Provencher
You wouldn’t know it today
if you were Jack Kerouac
heading West the first time,
entering El Paso along East Alameda,
the blink-bright high-arched sky,
the whole world opening up.
Jack woke shouting to the morning,
This is the Valley of the World!
East Alameda goes on
for miles, pop up smash repair shops,
Quick Loan Bail Bonds, decaying motels and cabins
morphing into rooming houses for transients
and day workers.
Kerouac was heading west.
I am on the Avenue of the World east,
where promise peters out
and emptiness begins