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.

It was cold that year I remember well

I fell in love with her smile

like I had a choice?

She looked me over hell

felt like a little boy

It was cold that year

I remember well

Tangled blankets and sheets

that old apartment smell.

I fell in love with her mind

like an Etch A Sketch

She threw so many bones

like we were playing fetch

It was cold that year

smoke on the fire escape

I drew her in black lines

then shook but couldn’t erase.

I fell in love with her body

like it was a toy

We’d make love for hours

then a little more

It was cold that year

with Manhattan in view

We counted down from 10

New Years on Pia’s roof.

Ain’t it a trip life

you work just to get away

She fell so many times

I’d pick her up and say

You choose the road anywhere

let’s take a drive

Coast to coast man

we died to feel alive.

There’s a scrapbook somewhere

it’s unfinished but proof

That true love exists

and it’s in me and you

A crazy beautiful thing now

baby that’s the truth

I’ll finish it one day

till then this’ll have to do.

I fell in love with her eyes

bewitched under spell

At the flick of a switch

I could turn heaven to hell

If looks could kill honey

stare come on I’m your guy

I never loved her more

than when I wanted to die.

I fell in love with her soul

as she burned the sage

Expelling demons like a shaman

she was young and brave

It was cold that year

at the Macy’s parade

Her face covered in scarf

a perfect picture to take.

I fell in love with her frown

just to turn it around

I fell in love with her ups

just to carry her downs

It was cold that year

I remember now

The first night she slept

next to me safe and sound.

Ain’t life a gas man

you work just to get away

You get away then go home

wishing that you’d stayed

One more day in a motel

somewhere new

They’re always coming man

those damn check out blues.

There’s a memory somewhere

to take me back

Always underdressed and upset

baby that’s a wrap

I remember it all like it was yesterday

That’s why I wake up in love

with each and every day.