Friday, November 7, 2008

A Pox on Queen West

Queen West is crowded on a Friday afternoon,
Full of blazered, briefcased businesspeople,
Black-eyeliner teenager girls
With neon asymmetrical bobs
And their tight-jeaned, bescarfed boyfriends,
Long-haired homeless men selling fifty-cent newspapers
I smile at them all as we pause together
To look at the street-side carts of tacky beaded jewellery
Or huddle together to watch Peter Riedel balance his rocks

Queen Street still holds its charms
But it’s lost some authenticity
Ever since the big fashion chains
Spread out from the Eaton’s Centre like cancer
Plaguing the small business Queen staples,
Esprit cozied up to Fashion Crimes
And Guess Jeans snuggling Steve’s Music

Will Toronto look just like any other city
By the time Victor Frazer’s bike-chain mural
Has faded off the sidewalk?

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