Jim Daniels

Detroit officials...provided a panoramic picture window that simulated the view of the Detroit skyline and two downtown stadiums snuggled against a seemingly vibrant neighborhood. In real life… at least 10 of the photo's buildings are abandoned hulks. Some are burned-out, roofless and scarred with soot. Artists touched up the photo by splashing light onto darkened windows and streets and adding roofs where there were none.

Even God doesn't have a script.

Exhausted mimes holding up imaginary walls

finally collapse. Relief clowns sent in with paint guns.          

Videogame that, mother fucker.

The empty calories of lighted squares.

The naked model posed into submission.

The naked model whose lust

became rust. The idiot savant misspells fear.

Imagine awakening to light impossibly pure

radiating the heat of the true believer.

Rain obediently sluicing off a roof

into drain pipes to baptize disbelief itself.

Imagine returning home from far away

to look up at the light and recognize

the imposter.






This poem came out of its epigraph, this eerie notion of photoshopping a city to make it look more alive. If only it was that easy.