Largely misinterpreted as the scum center of unincorporated King County, Washington, White Center is in fact much more than a scum center. It is much more than a collective of toothless hookers, violent pimps, and dangerous minorities, though it does contain such seedy elements. It was where Richard Hugo, a prominent American poet once nominated for the National Book Award, grew up and drew much
of his artistic vision. So, this place can't be all that vacuous. It is a place of happiness, loss, sadness, love, despair, murder, thievery, generosity, diversity, life, and death. It encapsulates all that the human experience can offer. I should know because I grew up there. This piece of South Seattle is both shitty and beautiful.
Nothing dies as slowly as a scene.
The dusty jukebox cracking through
the cackle of a beered-up crone--
wagered wine--sudden need to dance--
these remain in the black debris.
Although I know in time the lake will send
wind black enough to blow it all away.
-Richard Hugo, White Center poet