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.

Kyle’s Camel

Kyle’s

Camel

cigarette

smoke

lingers in the air

creeping in my window

wishing me to dare

take another drag

see what you’ve been missing

though if I did decide

to have another kissing

I’d like to think

it would be mid winter

jangling down the streets

of New York City banter

admiring sleepy windows

with a stranger I barely know

after leaving the Wreck Room

now long since closed

and wondering if she feels

the same way I do

taking a long hot drag

while

trying to seem cool

knowing nothing about her

yet desperately wanting to

and they would taste like Brooklyn

they would be Pall Mall Menthol

crisp and clear and clean

like ice on the verge of thaw

we’d be cracking up.

New York City Central Park

Before we knew one another

New York City Central Park

feeding ducks in the pond

Austin making quack-quack sounds

and Tina wanting to go

I looked at you for a long while

before you looked at me

and through my camera lense

I took a picture in black and white

your gaze, tender and aware as if to say

I am here and I’m glad you are too

and I nervous in my boyish wonder

trying to play coy though who was I kidding

tip toeing every word as I so often do

upon first meeting before I muck it all up

with the nonsense I carry like tattered old books

though that day there was no room for Paradise Lost

there was no desire for Walden or Poe

stepping lightly off the curb in those Italian Leather loafers

I thought went well with your hesitant smile

perhaps you felt it too when time stopped

not literally but figuratively as real as a care free afternoon

like that which was the fall in Central Park

and I think I even paid for dinner that night which I couldn’t afford

for all four of us since I had the credit

just trying to be nice, because well

you know, I was happy and I think you were too.