Ferlinghetti Memo

by Kevin T. McEneaney

When I was young and excited as a dandelion seed,

there was no “Coney Island of the Mind.”

There was a real, swinging carnival in Brooklyn

that eschewed metaphor for spontaneous fun

and the only depression in the atmosphere

was the child who did not repeat a ride

for the nth time, or kid who dropped

an ice cream cone on boardwalk.


The Lenape name for the island

(annexed by landfill)

was “land without shadows”

where at two I received a bad sunburn.


Raucous shouts of children squealing

echoed in twilit air when paranoia

was merely a momentary event

as one was herded to school basement

for shelter from Russian nukes.


The view from the Great Wonder Wheel

was breathtaking panorama

of seascape and light glittering—

not an illusion of the mind! 

Wonder Wheel at Coney Island

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