All you need to know about New York City in 2019

Woodstock Drumming Circle, 2019, non-figurative drawing by William EatonThere’s still a wastebasket on most every corner,

And it’s often full to overflowing with waste,

Which you can also find on the streets,

But there are fewer and fewer mailboxes.

 

And the remaining mailboxes have been altered so you can’t put anything substantial in them.

(I suppose in this case the Post Office’s definition of “substantial” would be a bomb or waste.)

 

The only reason the mailboxes are still there is to accept checks

From people – is this what they still call us? – who have yet to make it possible

For phone, Internet, entertainment and credit-card companies

To take money directly from our bank accounts whenever they wish.

 

— Poem and drawing by William Eaton

 

∩ There is a slim but beckoning connection between a feeling in this post and a comment made by John Berger in The Success and Failure of Picasso: “Kafka understood the full horror of the new bargain: the bargain by which in exchange for sustenance a man forgoes the right to have his existence noticed.”

 

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