Manhattan’s in the Village

You know what they say, don’t yuh?

Can’t live with em, can’t live without em

But don’t get me twisted, I’m not talking about women

though the skin beneath my tongue’s still sore

my heart’s still heavy and well

there’s nothing quite like seeing her smile come morning

but anyway like I was saying to this jug of doom

in the evening gloom where I choose not one but two

and then two more to boot because, well, hell

who am I kidding? Nobody but the moon this evening

cause it’s this bitter sweet feeling

the kind you feel deep down in the rumbling, stumbling night

where it all gets so far gone, where nothing meaningful is born

where it all makes some sort of convoluted sense

and alas, once again I am but the floorboards dull creak

where I am like the riverbed flowing calmly and discrete

where life is but a dream and I am dreaming once again

of you dear friend, rustling like the leaves at my front door.

Oh dear friend, how I long to walk the beach again.

How I long to hear your sick, silly, sweet voice again

like those long ago up all Friday nights of old

all those Brooklyn winter blue’s and yellow streetlights

guiding us home, or at least to Crown Fried Chicken where

like two youthful bums we’d scavenge our pockets for change

enough to buy a couple chicken wings, coke, and pint

enough to settle the bone, cold, sidewalk snow till home

where we’d fall arm and arm up stairs

to that old wood, smoke filled, railroad apartment you’d call Grove.

And though I don’t often pray, in my own little way

I do for you now as I did then, driving back to my Long Island apartment.

I pray this little song of self, this little song of you, this small token of my appreciation

for your boundless soul and effortless style and class.

I ate too much cheese, I’d shout while holding a kitchen knife to my throat!

Where in a Polaroid our youth is kept,

where so many nights while you slept I wept,

where you’d give me your bed for a smile,

where I’d talk with Forest about everything and nothing for a while,

long enough not to feel alone in that maddening, crazy New York glow.

So I write this little poem, not enough but enough to show you

I’m still listening through the terror behind the walls.

Dear friend,

How are you?

I can’t live with you, but hell, I can’t live without you.

Manhattan’s in the Village

God knows we never had the scratch, aligned

I feel inclined to take this time and offer you my best

impression not impressed?

CALL ME SPIDER! CALL ME SPIDER!

I just had to get these salami’s off my back.

I just had to sing this short praise of you Mac.

I’m sorry my friend.

I wanted to help you

but hurt you instead.

The least I can say is

I’m sorry my friend.

The most I can do is

tell you I’m here,

no matter the distance

though waters aren’t clear,

it’s times like these—

a balloon in the air—

to let yourself go completely

and live not in fear.

You’re worth more than you know

I know this my friend

so follow your heart, and

try to understand.

I wanted to help you

but hurt you instead.

The least I can say is

I’m sorry my friend.

sometimes pigs do fly

I have past the point of no return

where apologies have lost there meaning

Where no explanation is needed

because hell has frozen over, and I swear

I saw a pig fly the other night

but perhaps that was just my reflection

bopping down Magnolia Boulevard

watching taillights fade

and counting them like crows

One, then two, and four and eight

Oh I thought, what a burden it is to sleep

and what a wonder it is to wake.

I made a phone call that night too

and said some terrible things

that by way of the universe

I guess I just needed to say.

I am that guy sometimes — not all —

but sometimes pigs do fly.

So this is who I am

I won’t apologize

Good luck out there

If you stop judging it all,

it’s actually quite wonderful.

Dance with the Devil at Noon.

Mother used to say,
“don’t talk to strangers now!”

And father used to say,
“don’t be a follower you hear me!”

What a different world
we live in today.

Mother I’m sorry says the boy.
Father I’m sorry, he crosses his heart.

But to make it in this
Brave New World

I must dance with the devil at noon.

I’m still dealing with your ghost.

Please stop reading if you’ve heard this before.

It’s been 15 years since.

And I’m still holding onto a ghost.

15 god damn years.

And I’m still crying in a coffee shop.

I wasn’t even 15.

And you sure as hell weren’t a Boy Scout,

so who tied the noose?

I want to know what type of knot you used.

It’s been 15 years.

And I want answers.

Answers that I’ll never receive.

I want an apology.

You son-of-a-bitch.

How embarrassed you must have been.

I wasn’t even 15.

And they don’t even know the half of it.

And here I am again.

Wasting my energy on this endless sadness.

Because you couldn’t hack it.

Towards the end they say you were over medicated.

Well it’s been 15 years.

And it’s probably the reason I don’t even like to take aspirin.

It’s just that over 15 years it’s been hard to explain.

Like when you come right out and say it.

He.  Committed.  Suicide.

Kids used to awkwardly laugh at first and then realize I wasn’t lying.

And suddenly everyone’s sorry.

Suddenly I have to act sad.

Or act like it’s fine.

Nobody wants to see you break down in front of them.

Nobody wants to know your whole life story.

15 god damn years and I’m blubbering like a baby.

Screaming at the top of my lungs – drunk.

So if you’ve heard this before please stop reading.

Because I’m sure I’ve said it.

I’m as sure as I was 15 years ago.

Lost.

Because you don’t get custody after biting someone on the face.

And I don’t get answers.

I don’t get an apology.

Even after 15 years.

I’m still dealing with your ghost.