graffiti on the sidewalk

(it says, leave my city alone)

You weren’t born here, that’s why you don’t care
You’ve come to make your money
Laugh to relatives back in Nepean,
Antigonish, Victoria, about dirty old Hogtown
Suck us dry, you south-of-Bloor daytrippers
Short-lived big smokers
your tax-farming parents enjoy their $9-billion Xmas present?
Please, ride our subway day and night—we built it just for you
So you shouldn’t bring a car
No you’re afraid of the traffic,
Drive on the 401?— barbaric
Study, play, dream on the College St. scene, it’s ok
You post-grad potheads don’t pay taxes anyway
Go, end up somewhere in Brampton, or Pickering, nowhere
Feed the bedroom ant colonies with
your upper-middle downtown jobs
—like those 905 leeches—
You’ll drive an SUV by then, you
won’t mind clogging the DVP and Gardiner
on your way to Bay St. then
But you’ll flip at the prospect of road tolls
And won’t vote in our elections
Don’t go to town hall, hell
you don’t go north of Dupont (Jane and Wilson? No way, I’ll get shot!)
You bastard Canadians, fair-weather urbanites, it’s YOU with the identity crisis, you
hypocritical shits, your naked envy makes me blue in the face
Condescending visits to our ‘ethnic’ neighbourhoods
Giddy and nervous in a city so off-white
Oh it’s so exotic on Queen Street
Oh, Toronto is home to all kinds

But the pierced pale-skin young folk, getting tattooed on West Queen West? that’s YOU
from Sudbury, St. John’s and the Soo—
escaping those empty shitholes
’cause this is the only place would tolerate freaks like that
But I am sick of it; sick of you hick transplants and your bigoted provincial parents
You’re why we got 5,000 homeless—so your uncle’s pig farm doesn’t go under;
why we can’t extend the goddamned subway tunnels,
Why we got crumbling sidewalks; while your cousins drink subsidized Molsons on the back forty
So go head back to Sarnia and Red Deer and Moncton and Kelowna for the holidays
And hear mom and dad bitch, how big fat and ugly Toronto is
And crap on the Maple Leafs, and piss in our Lake poisoned with acid rain
…But don’t forget to make phone reservations
for Mirvish’s ‘Mama Mia’—the Mother’s Day, matinee showing—
and you’ll wander on after to Eaton Centre food court for
maybe some spring rolls and a raspberry smoothie, and
maybe we’ll take the rickshaws dad, you’ll say, but only
if the smog’s not too bad,
and so
the hobos won’t assault
you with their cap-rattling guilt trips

(does anyone pay attention to graffiti?)

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