Looking for the Wild Life of Fitzrovia

I didn’t see them in the streets,
or in the brightly-lit interiors
of the double-decker buses
passing by at night.

I didn’t find them crawling around
on all fours in the pubs.
Instead I saw the young at lunch in Fitzroy Square,
eating out of paper containers,
sitting on the grass in circles
in neatly pressed pants and shirts open at the collar,
discussing Facebook and soccer scores.

Where did everyone go?
Where were the wild-eyed new Bohemian poets?
Back to the office and computer screen
at precisely 13:00 hours?

I didn’t see one hair of the drunken head of Dylan Thomas.
Did the younger Sylvia Plath go home to check on the cake
rising in the oven?
Was no one teaching them to become
the new Laureate of Song, or the Duke of Earl?

I wondered down which cobblestone street were they now hidden,
the real wild life of Fitzrovia,
tightly wrapped in plastic to protect them from the
prying eyes of memory and the rain?
And behind which facade do they secretly recite
the Howl of Ginsberg, while plotting to take the Road of Kerouac.

Jerry Ratch