Trylon and Perisphere

Holding my brother's hand we made our daily pilgrimage

to the new world of tomorrow,

swaying along on a trolley car, sparks flew overhead,

like zapping fireflies as we waddled, clanged along

in the sweltering summer heat, to the World's Fair of 1939.


A season pass to Democracity at the flushed-out Flushing Meadows,

a phantasmagoric utopian vision inspired by global will.

A dazzling array of nonpareiled displays: electric eels rang bells, lit lamps,

Scenes of Old New York, tomorrow's gadgets and toys,

future forecasts of science and technology exploding with invention.

Robots will do all the work, all we'll have to do is play.


We scrambled to each pavilion, intoxicated by the music.

"Sidewalks of New York" played on every tractor train

filled with gawking tourists.

We ogled the "crazy dancing" on the ballroom floor, gaped as belly dancers jiggled,

Bulgarian peasants sang, gypsies fiddled, and Russian bears twirled.

Cowboys and Indians fought again, while in the diorama next door

scimitars flashed as Arabians clashed. We giggled at the antics of Oscar

the Amorous Octopus.


After the World of Microbes at the Bugaboo of Bugland,

we gorged on Belgian waffles and gelato, hoarding souvenirs:

Heinz' little pickle pins, Westinghouse's Electro the Moto-Man,

Sparko his Moto-Dog, kazoos and ocarinas embossed with the orange and blue logo

of the Trylon and Perisphere.

We sat in awe at the spellbinding futurama of General Motors,

rode sideways in speaker chairs, arguing about how soon the day would come

when we'd all fly around in our own autogyros.

The debate yielded to squeals as we fell through space at the Parachute Jump.

Alongside a whirling windmill, we paddled along on Heineken's Zuider Zee.


As the days of summer dwindled, we witnessed the burial of the time capsule,

wondering why anyone in 6939 would be interested in a toothbrush, comics,

dictionary, or plastic Mickey Mouse.

Little did we know the invasion was about to begin:

September 1st, the blitzkreig of the Hun.

Without a whisper of dissent, Lord Chamberlain whimpered,

giving a mad Austrian painter

a chance to rule the world.


Milton P. Ehrlich