The Tribes of New York

A green wilderness I once lived in
Picked anon and lush all over
It carried cubs through seasons tried
Into a ragged winter of their lives

Was it a windfall or a huntsman’s bait
That led us to the city’s edge
We heard the calling of the Island tribes
That made our wild seem second

The river forded icy fears awoke
Realized the past is damaged
A new beast awakened in the hearts
As in the new tents a pact is made

Never are you to return your love
To the gentle tribes across the water
Into this slow massacre you will submit
The blood scored palms are sealed as one

The Port Authority

The bus is a rough way to travel–rough on the tires, rough on the mind. It’s rough on the tired mind. This port has full authority over the hard reality of every departure–every flight–the transient lines, the commutation, the brutal architecture. I am still enamored with any film from the 70s starring Steve McQueen. I’m still amazed by the vintage struggle of every beating wing in the Port Authority.

Still New Jersey

Another New Jersey night raid
Through the hills of melancholy malls
Outside the realm of American norms
Home to the still dreaming tribes

In a concrete dowry
Her gift is bestowed
Upon the Prince of travel
Still the mystery begs to unravel

Where is your great continental heart?
That once pumped with Springsteen blood
Now a stent is laid that I may pass
Once again trudging through your mass

The Cigarette Lady

There will be no sleeping for me this morning, on the long-haul commuter bus from Kingston to Port Authority. The suspension has a great shark’s bite on the smallest of bumps. The air conditioning is hammering the back of my neck. The “cigarette lady” has chosen her seat directly behind mine.

Out of the corner of my sleepy eye, I see her yellowed hand imposing a little on my periphery. I smell the sour acrid gag of stained and spotty organs. Her cough begins shortly after departure, lung and trachea protest the imposed sanctions. As the nicotine receptors settle in to the martial law, the listless lack of oxygen will huff the grey cloud of sleep upon the tarred and charcoal soul. She claims the seat next to hers for streaked and straining capillaries of lower extremities, and soon enough she will floats off into the thick atmosphere of dreams, snoring in Chinese.

The Secret Inversion

Some days I’m inspired by everything I see in this town. It’s mayhem of beauty. I hear in every sound the ring of perfection. When the sun hits it right, the magic explodes into fractal macabre of color. Intensity, androgyny, moral decapitation, inconsequential activity congealing in one great masterpiece of form, function and majesty.

Many have seen the alternate inversion, equally sublime in darkness. To live here, you must share the secret. At the same time, keep the secret deep in hiding, lest the light escape and burn the eyes of the infidel. Protect it well warriors. Your reversible image is not for all. It may be misunderstood.


Monolithic Heart

How did I get here?
You’ll never guess where I am.
In the belly of the Titanic.
Deep in the sinking heart and center.

I return to the scene of the crime.
Ten plus years later.
A hundred million tears later.
Since it all tumbled down.

The city blood rushes on.
Renews itself with fresh oxygen and steel.
Only its memory holds the pain.
Its cells are strong, resilient.
The fire forges a new change.

A broad and ever expanding skyline.
A monolithic heart of darkness.
No intrusion withstanding.
It pumps and breathes on.

The Silence of New York

I like to be in tune with the music of New York.
So many simultaneous symphonies.
So many psychic notes.
It fills the air in blinding colors.
If you are one of the lucky few.
Who colors do coordinate harmonically.

The instrumentation is beyond richness.
Always approaching train wreck cacophony.
Climax and diminuendo.

The rests are an integral part of this song.
But they only come in long wave frequency.
Once in a strange while the silence sets.
The audience gasps and holds the breath.
Awaiting the next note.
Will it come crashing in again?
With fire and a terrifying chorus of screams.
Will the next bar blind us with infrared.
Anticipation is the element that builds this New York City musical mood.

Fly Fly Brooklyn Birdie

Thundering upstairs neighbor
Where are you going?
Walking back and forth
From midnight to morning.

Your footsteps betray
A sense of unease
A life’s work undone
Malignant ambition.

Is it a family dynamic
That’s left you pacing the miles?
Your mother perhaps who lives downstairs.
A man burdened as someone’s child.

Someday you’ll fly lighter than air
Not even stomp up the stairs
To the third floor, one farther away
Then glide off the rooftop and soar.

Or perhaps your mother may drag you
Flapping and squawking
Up to the top of the nest
And fling you out over the streets of Brooklyn.
If she knows what’s best.

I See the Storms

I saw a tiny tornado
On the street
Just at my feet
A hundred thousand people
Who would be witnesses
Saw nothing

Life rarely happens below knee level
In the New York City horizon
Too many synapses shouting
Too many body parts
Anxious and lustful forensics

Be it granted, a micro twister may not
To others be the experience of glory
That it is to me
It raises many questions
It invokes the entire universe into a day
That otherwise has much to bear

I almost didn’t notice too
The girl weeping right in front of me
Another silent tsunami
Lost to eyes on the open sea

Space in Between

What are these sounds? Vowels and consonant Japanese? It pleases me to know that this city brings the world together.

Still we all see ourselves as separate, different. Sometimes I see the ever changing infinite variety of an organism. Whole and complete, not in a goofy hippy sense, but in a completely unfathomable scientific mystical babies born from thin air number of stars equals grains of sand why did she do that I’ll never understand sort of way.

What about the space in between the electrons protons neutrons quarks and strings. It’s an inward fractal spiral of thought if my mortal mind gets caught. It must be love. The intangible antimatter anti energy. The force that binds.

I’ve pondered this space in between, the thoughts taking me to places I care to never see again. Now there is peace in the not knowing. And that space is growing. Letting in much more of that which I will never know.