- Foreword: Writing Rochester's Futures
- "Interesting Times"
- "Culinary Capital, 2034"
- "Night Bells"
- "Hollow Lives"
- "The Naked Girl"
- "Time Enough for Love"
- "Day of the Bicentennial"
- "One City at a Time"
- "Want Not"
- "The Costs of Survival"
- "Getting Wet"
- "Top 10 Headlines, Rochester, NY, 2034"
- "North Star Pipeline"
- "The 2034 Lilac Festival"
- "Scotch and Sizzlenuts on the Resolute Bay"
- "Fads (or Why Jerry Loathes the Aliens)" [FULL TEXT, AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY]
"The 2034 Lilac Festival"
Riding on the Genesee, I smelled a lilac scent.
Oars within the water swished, our fuel was long past spent.
Comparatively water travel’s cheaper than a car;
However, that old boat could only float me just so far.
Eventually the captain landed and stranded me on the banks.
So I suffered just a short cab drive, (but was billed to fill five tanks).
Turbines, rusted, lined the roads, designed to catch the winds,
Endeavored by a senator, who all credit now rescinds.
Reminded by their static state of economic gloom,
I wished my sighs were compromised by lilacs in full bloom.
Now along a cracked brick road, as my thoughts grew rather dark,
There, much like an island in the sea, was Highland Park!
Hey, Ya! What an awesome sight! I rolled the window down.
Enraptured by the lilacs, I allowed my nose to drown.
You can’t imagine how the people gathered round the grounds:
Every vendor came to call from all surrounding towns.
After all the big corps fled (or were bled dry like a martyr),
Rochesterians faced the dread, and most succumbed to barter.
Oh! Some moved on to other towns (whose fate was just the same);
For those of us who stuck around, we learned to play the game.
This for that, a tit for tat, no more posh careers:
We held the best then—like that!—regressed in just 200 years.
Every year this festival—now so much more than flowers,
Never fails to draw a crowd, from other towns than ours.
The farmers come from Farmington; the fish-men come from Greece.
Yarn skeins are brought from Brighton, while Penfield flaunts its fleece.
The Avon candles are popular (as the price of electric shocks).
How strange to feel so grateful for a single pair of socks!
It’s resplendent with the merchandise each eager searcher seeks.
Remember when it lasted days? Well, now it lasts ten weeks!
Those times have passed when passers by can just ignore its presence.
Years ago we ruled like kings, but now we beg like peasants.
From North Bloomfield, I raise alpaca on some land that I inherited.
Oh, God! Take pity on those souls who from their homes were ferreted.
Undeterred, I’ve come to sell some fine textiles from my loom,
Returning to my wife (if sales permit) with a gift of lilac perfume.
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