1. Urban Arizona

From the recording Urban Arizona


We banked to the left as the landing gear shook
I pulled up the shade, every inch a newcomer
The clouds gave away and I took my first look
As we dropped through the heat of my first desert summer
We passed through the valley speeding to the hotel
And the hills became buildings, heaven straight into hell
I should be on the mountains communing with rattlers and bones
Instead of wasting away my sweat on these cracked cobblestones
Urban Arizona, so close to paradise it’s a pity
Urban Arizona, when you’re trapped in what passes for city
When nature abounds in her majesty pure
But necessity grounds you to barely endure
You hope for a break, wait for beauty to lure you away
But now it’s urban Arizona and slow decay
Maria Conchita Perez de Guzmán lives in a house up on Altadena
Bought the place of her dreams but now her savings are gone
And she works every day at the downtown arena
As she pours me a beer she says, “It’s quite an event
For a woman like me to finally own and not rent
But to even the workers I’m still second class at best
That’s the price you must pay as you work your way up in the West”
I miss New York with her concrete gods
The grime and glitter pull at me like lightning rods
But coming out here I don’t want to compare
The layout of streets, Times with Copper Square
I just want to revel in the glories I can’t find at home
Ah, but here I am in these corporate halls I must roam
The plane’s slanting east shooting into the sky
Only one window free, of course it’s over the left wing
So I crane my neck back and bid a silent goodbye
To the uncharted wonders I was always awaiting
And I think of Maria in her portable bar
We can both see our freedom so near yet so far
And we’ll meet up one day when we’re tired of working too hard
We’ll trade in for grand canyons with this empty boulevard
It’s just urban Arizona and slow decay
© 2009 Rob Berretta