American Cyborg

37. Address to the Incline

 

Address to the Incline

by Albatross, January 2018

incline.jpg

Joi,
Imma tell yinz a tale and go by way of Altoona doinit,
‘Abaht some kids dahn nair by the Mon.
An befir yinz go bawlin, ‘It don cut no ice,’
I swears by da Stillers, an this here Arn,
Ever ding Heinzes, an dem progies so nice,
An aw dats holy in da Burgh, dat i ain’t fibbin.

Asides,
Wuhn cha rather scootch over der an da caach
An loaf a bit while I yak bout dees lil river rats,
Rather dan sittin der jaw waggin, jaggin round ennat?
Yinz gotcher bawdles a beer? Airyago.
Awright, itsa good ‘en an yinz‘ll need a cupple.
So bring it dahn a thahsnd an listen up.

Yesee,
Paul an Jon, dey grew up dahntahn
Jus past da point an o’er Mahnt Worshington
Close in proximidy to da Iggle o’er dare
An dem kids weren’t jaggy er nebby er nuttin
An fact dair prahbly da best nippers fir mahles.
But as yinz know, even da rain ‘ill end up in da soor sumtimes.

Morrenat,
Jon an Paul, Paul an Jon, dare brudders dahn nair.
Jon’s da older by cuppla years, but Pauls da wile en.
An dey dare an dis an dey dare an dat.
Bo fem kids love a good dare.
Dey’ve been in da rivers in da freezin cauld ennat.
I mean, git aht! Gitdahellaht! In dat icy wahter ahn a dare!

Jisabaht,
Rahn dat time when the two-a-vum were jist tenish,
Paul, anna dare from Jon, run his bike wit no hands
Alla way dahn Allentahn street. Ha-baht-dat?
Is wheel went aw wobbly annie scraped ‘is belly up aw o’er.
But dat’s an whole nother story, an I tell yinz what,
Dis is way better n’at.

So’s,
Cause a da Allentahn incident, Jon’s dahn a point er two ahn da dares
An Pauls waitin fir da biggin, da big dare ta rilly get ‘im good.
Bo fem had been aht an abaht an’ed clumb Mahnt Worshington.
So dare up air at lookaht point, ways up o’er dahntahn,
(Even da Still buildin looks itty bitty up air)
An Paul starts grinnin like Hines Ward.

Chawt,
Da next time any yinz is up air, look close at the Incline ennat.
Yinz’ill see azit goes awda way up an dahn da maahntin
Dat der’s a black boxy kinda ding an the bahtum.
Well, ya lunchheads, I’z shocked as yinz ta tell ya, air’s a door in’air!
‘An wahtsat gotta do wit anyding?’ Yinz axst me.
Yinz’ll see ennat.

Ovaderr,
Ahn toppa da maahntin, Paul pointed ta tops a some trees
Aw hangin unner where da Incline tracks slope dahn steep
An goes, ‘I dares ya ta take a Lynn Swann onta that tree der,’
‘Ah c’mahn! Dey’d send me ta Dixmont!’ bawled Jon.
‘Yabbut ya gotsta!’ goes Paul back at’em.
‘I did Allentahn hill no hands! Yir turn ya jag!’

I’ztellinya,
John looked o’er the rail, and could see aw the Norside, da Sawside
Where da Stillers an Buccos play, da hills, da point a sprayin,
Aw da bridges, Erberto Clemente, da igloo, da barges floatin coal,
Practally aw da way to Gibbo, way out da road!
An da branches looked close ennat. Rilly close, an big ennuff.
An Paul awways got him, but ‘chanowaht! I’m gettin’im dis time!’ goes Jon.

Yainga bleevis,
He jumped! I swears by da Immaculate Reception!
Right onta dat tree hangin by root fingertips ta da side-a da maahntin.
Ow-no wha Pauls thinkin but I know he ain’t believin Jon’ed dooit.
Jon grabbed dem branches an held ahn swayin side a side ahn top,
Allawhile smilin like a butchers dog. Coulda bin a kite up air o’er da tahn.
But alla sudden he members’at he’s gotta get dahn...sumhahs.

Yinzever,
Seen an dem nature shows when da baby bird gets chucked aht da nest?
Air’s awways one dat’s hangin ‘air by its toenails an don wanna dooit
An dat’s haw Jon looked aht dare. Lil tweeter barely hangin ahn.
Jeez-o-man! howlered Paul, asie run aw along da railing looking aht at Jon.
Anna tree looks aw slippy ennat. Paul goes aw nutso, ya know?
Ah mean, atsis brudder aht dare! So’see does wha any brudder’d do. He jumped too

‘S’goinon!?’
Allanem’s waitin fer da Incline starts yellin; aller runnin round raisin stink.
Oh mah Gersh! Der’s kids innat tree dahnair! Can you reachum? Nah, stoofar.

What-r yinzdoin dahnair, ya loopy kids? Fer Petes sake! Summon call da Fahrmen.
Inna meanwhiles, Jon an Paul’d clumb dahnna tree but nah dey’stuck in da rocks unnerdare

So summon caw’d da Fire Partment thinkin dey’d use da ladder an whatnot,
But ladders go up ennat, not dahn! Howinda world dey gonna get’em offinat cliff?

S’yinzmember
When Ize tellin yinz baht da Incline, right? Don‘cha jus love dat ding?
Awma life da Incline is gahn up an dahn da maahntin,
Takin Burghers o’er ta work like Sissy fuss, in regards ta’is boulder.
I member holdin onta Ma’s skirt asit creaked an clumb up when I’za kid,
Watchin da Burgh get aw smaw dahnair. I’z awways scared but loved it.
But I’ll be damned if I ever thunk a springin onta tree der! Crazy kids!

Likeizesayin,
Fire Partment shows up, anna kids‘ er hangin onta da rocks ahn da cliff.
Howinahell dey get dahnair? yelled da chief. Ow-no chief, but how we gonna get to’em?
Da chief der, he takes a look at dat lovely red box an goes,
‘Ole Mister Diescher never-a known what we’z abaht ta do wit his invention.’
After yakkin wit da Incline operator, an a lil plannin, allem Fahrmen hopped ahn.
Dahney went, da creekin tracks an lines aw a grindin an groanin above dem kids.

Well Whaddyagittinat?
Ahm sure your askin abaht nah. Point’is, dem Fahrmen
Dey clumb aht da bahtum a da Incline an hauled dem kids in!
Gutsy dem guys! An Hoorah fer da Incline! Da lovely red boxy!
Right thru dat door I’ze tellin yinz abaht earlier.
Dey pulled ‘em ahnboard an offadem rocks hangin ahn Worshington.
Paul an Jon, dey hada clean Fahrtrucks da whole summer causa dat.

So’atsat,
Jon an Paul, Paul an Jon got saved, high up o’er dahntahn
Saved by da Fahrmen an by ma favorite hero, da Incline.
Since ‘em coal days a darkness ta da days a da Superbowls
An in clahdy rainy days, freezin days, sumtimes sunny days,
Days ‘em Pens raisin da Cup, an days a bright new colors reflectin’at
Aw dat time da Incline been upair o’er da city ah love ennat

Wellumawlouttabeer,
Is been nice yakkin wicha
Yinz keep safe or whatever ennat, you know?
Eez my keys? Oradems yours? Atsit boys! Awright den.
Whatsa difference between da Stillers dis season an a buck?
You can still get four quarters outta a buck.
Awright, seeyinzawdahntahn.