Robert Siek: How to Define Social Infrastructure

Robert Siek: How to Define Social Infrastructure

How to Define Social Infrastructure


The unpaved section of sidewalk avoided,

homeless facedown in big cities, the stillness of

a CPR dummy, feet unlike flat surroundings,

prison-yard old days, stone breakers’ workplace,

space once mined for gas pipes; a doorman here

dead of night, an employee of the Dream Hotel,

him and his pickax and dressed in a toga, ape shit

shouting, “Good morning! Good morning! Time for

redecorating!”—end of story: white and gray rocks

unfriendly to shoes, footsteps. The site of a woman

taking her chances, her sheer scarf white-flesh nude

and floral like look at my new Laura Ashley comforter

a touch screwed in a nostril, the rest a hanged ghost,

friend of Casper, and a man in a garbage-bag poncho

(no hood) ambles by all I’ve got bad knees, shaking

a frying pan overhead, yelling, “I’ll crack you

like an egg, motherfucker!”

Robert Siek is the author of the poetry collections Purpose and Devil Piss and We Go Seasonal. He lives in Brooklyn and works at a large publishing house in Manhattan.