One Poem by Robert Manaster

Whereas, in front of the flowering dogwood entrance of that mobile homes park, the city owns an acre to sell; and
whereas, the planning commission has passed on its case to the city council; and
whereas, the requested rezoning reaffirms the city's into-the-city corridor plan, as amended; and
whereas, this landscape at the outskirts is neither prairie, farming, home, nor business; rather, it's like soda spilt on the dashboard, the can long since gone; and
whereas, the city and W__ Family Trust jointly marketed a 3-acre buffer along Lincoln Avenue to embed business, which would have tucked the park safely away; and
whereas, the city requested proposals in regional papers (without council approval) to redevelop the Lincoln Mobile Homes Park; and
whereas, this project is as senselessly sensible as an auto accident driven in the mind over and over: waves of AM Limbaugh drifting into and out of the swerves and over-corrections on the black-ice course of a curve; and
whereas, the Owner can close said park without city approval; and
whereas, in Ordinance 9697-22, the city ordained Caprock Corp. as developer, dependent upon resolving relocation for residents; and
whereas, the parties agree Caprock has agreed to pay off $500 to occupants of each trailer towed off; and
whereas, Caprock will build and maintain The Caprock Commons, a luxury student housing site, with their "cream-n-green" signature design; and
whereas, private deals take on the interior odor of a new car; and behind closed doors, there's a wish to move on and over like the drive in these interruptions, like the census taken when no one answers the hard knocks, and so on; and
whereas, the city has agreed to spend $150,000 to build a bike path to relieve traffic along Lincoln; and
whereas, access from Goodwin Street (the other side) will now be closed-off and an emergency access crash gate will be put up so privacy will be assured and so surrounding African-American neighborhoods will not be disrupted; and
whereas, Caprock has cited in their site plan that they save lots and lots of trees; and
whereas, the City Arborist recommends decorative fencing along the Goodwin side; and
whereas, the Federal Fair Housing Act directly conflicts with Caprock's "most important and strictly enforced rule:" One student per bedroom — which is now viewed strictly as a guideline for marketing purposes; and
whereas, more student housing is unneeded for the University except for the more luxurious kind, as stated in Caprock's marketing study and implied in their status elsewhere;
now therefore, be it ordained by the city council of the City of U__, Illinois, as follows:
        	that we shall collect a great amount of tax
        	dollars from The Caprock Commons;
        	that we shall transfer certain citizens
(and non-citizens), reconstituting
their home, and for now, only
for now, put off permanent
                housing needs — all for the greater good.

Robert Manaster’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Birmingham Poetry Review, Image, Maine Review, Into the Void, and Spillway. His co-translation of Ronny Someck’s The Milk Underground was awarded the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation.

Editor-in-Chief Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso ReviewHarbor Review’s chapbook prize is named in her honor. She expects her next collection, The Book of Stolen Images (Meadowlark) to be out in a few months.